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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118658
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I have a judgment from CA. I lived in CA from 3/2008-7/2014.

Customer Question

I have a judgment from CA. I lived in CA from 3/2008-7/2014. The judgment is with Asset Acceptance and dated 12/2012. In September 2015, I received a garnishment from CA, from my payroll administrator letting me know about the garnishment. The garnishment was from Asset Acceptance and the writ was filed in CA court. They used my old CA address and they sent the garnishment to a franchise office of my employer. The franchise office must have sent it to the corporate office and they forwarded it on to the payroll administrator. I learned about it by mail from the payroll administrator. The 25% started coming out of my pay immediately.I now realize that Asset Acceptance didn't follow TN law. They didn't domesticate a foreign judgment. They have taken almost $4,000 of my money and I'm assuming they have done so illegally. I know this because they garnished my husband and when he called them and told them he lived in TN, they told him they would refund his money and close his case. I did some investigation and realized they should have followed the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act Tenn Code Ann 26-6-101. They did not. What are my rights? Can I get my money back? Can we get rid of this judgment? I do not want to file bankruptcy. I don't owe that much money, but I may want to file suit against Asset Acceptance.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
IF they failed to follow the foreign judgment laws, then you can file suit against the collection agency for improper garnishment and not only get the money back they too, but also seek damages up to 3 times that amount if you can show they were willful and malicious. To get personal jurisdiction over the company in court, you have to sue them in the state where the collection agency that did the garnishment is located. The damages against the collection agency does not invalidate the judgment though and they can still come to TN and file to recognize the foreign judgment and TN will order enforcement, so you cannot escape the judgment by filing against the collection agency, just get damages from them and a return of your money for them not properly obtaining the garnishment and your costs for having to pursue them in court plus attorney's fees.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would have to sue them in CA? Or, their home office is in MI. Would I have to sue them there? I do understand they can come to TN and still file a foreign judgment, but there is something about the judgment that has always been fishy. I was planning on going to court because I was not working at the time. The hearing was on the docket and then it wasn't on the docket. I consulted with an attorney who also checked the docket and he told me that they must have removed it. Several weeks later I received a judgment. I actually have a summary print out from the court that shows the hearing was deleted - off calendar and then the next statement is default judgment by clerk. I've just let it go because it's too late, but if they bring this to TN, can I bring it up?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If they are located in CA, you could sue in CA or with their home office in MI you could sue them there as well, the choice on that is your choice. If they have an office in TN, you could even sue in TN, so you need to check. The key to personal jurisdiction is they have to have a physical presence in the state where you are suing them.
They can come to TN and file the foreign judgment in TN to collect, but you cannot raise the issue you could have raised in CA had you wanted to fight the summary judgment there.
If you want to challenge the judgment, you need to get an attorney in CA to file to seek to vacate the judgment based on lack of notice and it being removed from the docket and getting no notice of the summary judgment and no chance to defend yourself against the debt. You have to fight the judgment itself in CA.