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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I was sent a judgment in the mail for an old credit card debt

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I was sent a judgment in the mail for an old credit card debt with Discover. This is the first letter from the law firm (who now owns the debt) that I have received. They want to garnish my wages. According to what I found in the court documents, this ruling happened way back in 2010. according to NYS law, the judgment is required to be sent within 1 year of the ruling. How can I enforce that rule and stop the judgment?

((c) Default not entered within one year. If the plaintiff fails to take proceedings for the entry of judgment within one year after the default, the court shall not enter judgment but shall dismiss the complaint as abandoned, without costs, upon its own initiative or on motion, unless sufficient cause is shown why the complaint should not be dismissed. A motion by the defendant under this subdivision does not constitute an appearance in the action. - See more at:

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

That statute does not state that the company must send you a copy of the judgment within one year. It says that a party must seek a default judgment within one year of when the case is originally filed with the court. A party has ten years to collect a judgment, and they can renew it for another 10 years.

If you never received notice of the lawsuit AND you have a valid defense to the action (other than inability to pay), then you have the option of going to court and filing a Motion to Vacate Default. You need only establish that you were unaware of the suit so you could not respond, and that you have a defense. If the plaintiff did not request the default judgment within one year of when the suit was filed, you could file a Motion to Vacate Judgment and Motion to Dismiss on that basis. If the motion is granted, they will then have to file a new case and get a judgment in that case before they can garnish your wages.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay but I am still a little confused. The ruling was in 2010. This judgment just came through. Can I submit a motion to dismiss? I understand they can go through the process again with a new case..


Can I also use "validation of debt" since the debt was originally owed to Discover, and now is not?


I am not trying to get out of paying the debt. I am willing to pay it, I just cannot do it on the terms of 10% of my gross pay per check. I was unemployed for several years due to layoffs and outsourcing (which is why I am in this position) and am willing to work something out, but the law firm who owns the debt now will not negotiate..

If there is already a judgment, the case is over. If they had filed the case in 2010 and done nothing, you could have requested that the case be dismissed. Look at the date written on the judgment compared to the date of when the Complaint was filed. That's what is relevant - not when you are now getting notified.

The rule allows a judge to dismiss a case on his own for failure to prosecute, but it doesn't apply after a judgment is obtained.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did not know about the case until I got the judgment. I assume that is the defense I am going to use when filing to dismiss. Can I also use "validation of debt" since the debt was originally owed to Discover, and now is not?

When asking to remove the default, you can argue that you were never notified of the lawsuit and you do not owe any money to this company, yes. They may attach evidence that they bought the debt from Discover, but by raising the argument, you're forcing them to prove that they're owed something.
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