December 15, 2017

Never Ignore a Lawsuit that is Served on You

made a mistakeLast week, my secretary left me a message that read as follows:

John Smith called about a possible illegal wage garnishment.  He says that his employer notified him that his wages will be garnished by a credit card company that had never sued him and that he has not heard from in over 10 years.

This sounded interesting.  Was there an FDCPA claim here?  When I called Mr. Smith back, he told me that he moved from the Atlanta area 5 years ago and that he did not remember being sued by the ABC Credit Card Company when he did live in the Atlanta metro area.  His employer, however, was in receipt of a notice of wage garnishment and would be withholding funds from his wages.

Mr. Smith had a copy of the wage garnishment order, which had a case number on it, which meant that a lawsuit had been filed.  The county where the lawsuit was filed has online access and I plugged in the case number.  It turns out that the lawsuit was filed back in 2002 and a judgment issued in 2003.  Under Georgia law judgments expire after 7 years unless renewed and the online record also indicated that this judgment had been renewed prior to the expiration of 7 years. [Read more…]

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