My question involves judgment recovery in the State of:NY
In April 2010 my wages started being garnished because of a Judgement that was granted against me in September 2008. My problem is that I was never notified by the collection agency or their lawyer about the possible garnishment before they took legal action against me. In fact the only letters for payment demand I received from this collection agency prior to the judgement was for an old Columbia House debt of $80, not the $1900 they were awarded in the Judgement. Also, I was never served a summons and no one signed for one on my behalf . If I read NYS law regarding garnishments correctly, I should have been served notice by a sheriff. It just does not seem legal that a garnishment of my wages would be granted in court without me knowing about the debt or the judgement placed against me.
My main concern about the garnishment is that I do not recognize the amount of the Judgement and i do not know who the original creditor is. I am concerned that I am being garnished for a debt that is not even mine. I did some background research on the collection agency and the law firm that represented them in my Judgement case and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints about both of them on the Internet. Most of the complaints are of the standard collection variety, but there were a few that raised some serious red flags with me. The collection agency has been accused before of trying to collect a debt in cases of mistaken identity/identity theft and the law firm involved has been accused of issuing false summons or skirting the law to get a default Judgement (which I assume is what happened in my case).
Everything about this Judgement seems shady. The amount of the debt, not having prior knowledge or written/verbal contact from the collection agency or the law firm concerning the debt, not knowing who the original creditor is, not being served a summons and not even knowing that a Judgement was granted against me in a court of law until 1 1/2 years after the fact.
My questions are, What can I legally do about this Judgement that was granted against me without my knowledge? If this is not my debt, and I am a victim of mistaken identity or identity theft, how do I legally go about recovering the wages that were garnished from my paycheck?
Any advice on this matter is sincerely appreciated.