Firm Announcements and Law Updates


Our client recently (2017) discovered a garnishment on his bank account entitled "LEGAL ORDER DEBIT". Upon further investigation, the client discovered a default judgment had been entered against him in the New York City Civil Court, Kings County in 2010 by debt buyer U.S. Equities Corp. 

After a brief consultation, the client retained our firm and our office immediately filed an Order to Show Cause with the Court. Our firm successfully showed that our client lived in Florida when the Summons & Complaint was allegedly served in New York. 

The parties entered into a Stipulation whereby, US Equities Corp. voluntarily vacated the default judgment, discontinued the case against our client and returned all garnished funds to our client. 

Default Judgment

If you fail to file an Answer the Summons & Complaint or you miss a court date, the party suing you can ask the court for a default judgment against you. A default judgment allows the party suing you to enforce the judgment and collect the money they sued you for. 

You can ask the court to vacate the default judgment. 

In New York, in order to vacate a Default Judgment, the consumer must show that either:

(1) service was improper, OR

(2) that you have

(i) a meritorious defense to the case, AND

(ii) a reasonable excuse for the default. 

If the default judgment is vacated and the case is put back on the court's calendar, the case is not over. You will still be required to defend the case. 

Improper service:

Pursuant to New York State law, the plaintiff must first acquire personal jurisdiction over you in order for a judge to hear the case. Personal jurisdiction is obtained by serving the Summons & Complaint. Service may be completed by: 

  • Personal Service - delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to you personally; 
  • Suitable Age and Discretion - delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to someone in your home of "suitable age and discretion" 
  • Nail and Mail - After at least two failed attempts at personal service, the process servicer may post a copy of the Summons & Complaint at the door and mail a copy to your last known address by first class mail and certified mail. 

If you have been sued in a debt collection lawsuit, working with an attorney can help you avoid common mistakes made by pro se litigants and ultimately save you time and money.  

The Law Office of Crystal R. Villasenor, PLLC, represents consumers in debt collection cases and vacating default judgments. If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit contact our firm today for a complimentary consultation on how to secure your rights.