PYOD is a frequent debt-buyer that we encounter in collection, litigation and post-judgment enforcement matters. PYOD usually uses the debt collection law firm of Tromberg Morris and Poulin to collect their debt and to sue consumers. Collection can quickly turn into litigation and Tromberg Morris and Poulin often enters default judgments against consumers in these matters. Default judgments are common in New York because people move around frequently and because service of process is usually poor. A default judgment can result in a frozen bank account for double the amount of the judgment, a wage garnishment of 10% weekly or even a lien on real property preventing the purchase or sale of property in the future. A default judgment can also increase the amount of the total debt owed because of accruing judgment interest and marshal’s fees.
To defend against PYOD, a consumer must submit an answer with defenses if they do receive the summons and complaint. This prevents a default judgment and keeps the burden on PYOD and Tromberg Morris & Poulin to prove that PYOD is the rightful owner of the debt. They must also prove that the amount is correct and appropriate. Keeping the burden on PYOD also gives the consumer leverage in negotiating a favorable settlement with Tromberg Morris and Poulin.
If a default judgment is obtained then an order to show cause to vacate the judgment must be filed within a year of learning of it based on CPLR 5015. It is important to move to vacate as quickly as possible. The consumer must show a reasonable excuse and at have at least one meritorious defense to vacate the judgment which is not a high burden. Vacating the judgment gives the consumer an opportunity to submit an answer as explained above. Filing the Order to Show Cause alone can be enough to negotiate a favorable settlement sometimes because PYOD may prefer to avoid further litigation. We commonly obtain settlements ranging from 40%-75% off of the total in these matters.