One form of debt collection abuse that occasionally pops up in Queens & Brooklyn NY is when a creditor serves a Consent to Change Attorney form on the consumer, after the judgment has been satisfied and paid.
Why would a Plaintiff change attorneys after the Judgment has been paid?
One reason may be that the original law firm is going out of business, and the creditor wants to maintain current contact information in the court’s records.
Another reason may be that an entire portfolio of debt accounts has been assigned and transferred to a debt buyer, which works with a different law firm.
Colonial Credit Corp v. Beyers
In this case, the consumer had maintained a Ballys Fitness gym membership for exercise and health. When the consumer fell on hard times and defaulted on the monthly fees, his Ballys account was sold to Colonial Credit Corp, which sued him and won a judgment. Afterwards, the consumer agreed to Colonial Credit Corp’s settlement demand and paid it off in a timely manner. Accordingly a Satisfaction of Judgment was filed with the Court.
The court records reflect that after the Satisfaction of Judgment was filed, Colonial Credit Corp assigned the debt to Palisades Collection Corp.
By this point, the original Plaintiff’s attorneys had gone out of business, and Palisades Collection’s Consent to Change Attorney was therefore filed in court.
The judge refused to recognize the debt collection change of attorney, as the judgment was already satisfied and the case fully disposed of years ago.
Eltman Eltman & Cooper debt collection law firm argued the judge should excuse the oversight. But the judge disagreed, ruling a consumer should not be harassed with service of court documents years after paying off a debt. The judge ordered the offending parties to pay a penalty of $1,000.
Change of Attorney & Satisfaction of Judgment
If you have an old debt account that had been sued on in court, you may receive notice the creditor has changed attorneys. Please send us a copy of this notice for a free analysis by our debt defense firm.
If you have entered into a settlement agreement with a creditor to resolve an outstanding judgment, and you have completed your settlement payments, the creditor is required to provide proof of payment in the form of a Satisfaction of Judgment. Let us check the court file to make sure it was filed with the clerk’s office.
Call us for a free review of your Eltman Eltman & Cooper case in Queens or Brooklyn, and throughout the New York City region.
 NY Civil Ct., Richmond County, Index No. 14582-05, NYLJ 1202720760568, at *1 (February 20, 2015)