Forster and Garbus is one of the largest debt collection law firms in New York and New Jersey, where they go by Forster Garbus and Garbus. We often defend against lawsuits filed by them and vacate many default judgments entered against consumers by them. Forster and Garbus represent a wide array of creditors including Sallie Mae, Navient and National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, common private student loan lenders, Midland Funding, and Portfolio Recovery Associates, debt-buyers, and original creditors such as Capital One Bank and Discover Bank.
The first stage we see Forster & Garbus involved in debt matters is the pre-litigation collection phase. Here, collection agents from Forster & Garbus will contact consumers in order to collect an alleged debt before it gets to the litigation stage. Consumers will often receive a Dunning notice that advises the consumer that they have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. A lawsuit is filed if collection efforts fail giving the consumer 20-30 days to respond before a default judgment is entered. Default judgements are commonly entered due to poor service of process and because people often move in the tri-state area. Submitting an answer prevents a default judgment and keeps the leverage on the consumers side by keeping the burden to prove the case on the creditor and Forster and Garbus.
Default judgments are common and can be vacated if a consumer was not served properly. An Order to Show Cause to vacate the judgment and stay enforcement proceedings must be filed to do so. This is important because it re-opens the case and gives the consumer the ability to defend themselves on the merits. It also creates important leverage when negotiating a settlement as Forster and Garbus frequently settle these debt matters for much lower figures than what they pursued them for whether dealing with Navient, Midland Funding, or Capital One.