By: Robert J. Nahoum
Our client, recently discovered that a nearly $3,000.00 default judgment was entered against her in 2007 by Cypress Financial Recoveries in the District Court, County of Nassau. She first learned of the judgment when she received a notice from the Nassau County Sheriff that her wages were going to be garnisheed.
After consulting with our firm, we were retained and were successful in having the default judgment voluntarily vacated and the entire case dismissed. We were able to show Cypress’ debt collection lawyers Selip & Stylianou that our client was not living at the address where Cypress claimed to have originally served copies of the summons and complaint, a practice commonly referred to as sewer service.
According to New York State law, before a court can render a judgment against you, it must first acquire PERSONAL JURISDICTION over you. Personal jurisdiction is obtained by serving you with a summons and complaint; but, you must be properly served. Here are the ways you can be served:
- Personal Service – delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to you personally;
- Suitable Age and Discretion Service – delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to someone in your home of “suitable age and discretion” (someone competent enough to pass the papers on to you);
- Nail and Mail – After at least two failed attempts at personal or suitable age and discretion service, the process server may post a copy of the summons and complaint to the door and mail a copy to your last known address.
A default judgment can be reversed or “vacated” if the consumer can show that (1) the affidavit of service is bogus or (2) that he or she has (a) a defense to the case (like “I don’t owe the money”, “I don’t owe that much money” or “I don’t know who the plaintiff is”); and (b) a reasonable excuse for defaulting (like “I didn’t know I had been sued”).
If a consumer can show that the affidavit of service is bogus, the court must vacate the judgement and dismiss the case. If the consumer can’t convince the court that the affidavit of service is bogus but can show a defense and a reasonable excuse for defaulting, the case may return to the beginning and the consumer will be given the chance to answer the complaint and mount a defense.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
If you’ve been sued by Cypress Financial Recoveries, LLC in a debt collection lawsuit, consider hiring a qualified attorney experienced in debt defense. The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C. routinely represents consumers in debt collection lawsuits brought by debt buyers like Cypress Financial Recoveries, LLC in New York and New Jersey.
If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit, stopping harassing debt collectors or suing a debt collector, contact us today to see what we can do for you. With office located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Rockland County, the Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum defends consumers in debt collection cases throughout the Tristate area including New Jersey.