Debt Collection – Out of State Enforcement

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector can sue you only in the judicial district where you signed the contract underlying the debt or where you reside or where the real property securing the debt is located.

If a debt collector sues you in another state, you will receive a notice or summons from the court. If you do not defend the case against you or you appear but loose the case, the court will enter a default judgment against you. Once the debt collector obtains a judgment in another state he can enforce the judgment against you. However to do this he must obtain a sister state judgment from the state where he or she is enforcing the original judgment. The debt collector can enforce the judgment against you in the state you are residing or in any other state where you have assets or properties that can be levied to satisfy the judgment.

To get a sister state judgment, the debt collector must apply to a Superior Court in the state where he is seeking to enforce the judgment. The application must be accompanied by a certified or authentic copy of the original judgment. Once the application is filed, the debt collector is required to give you a notice of filing. Once you receive the notice of filing, you can oppose the application for sister state judgment on various grounds. These include defects in the issuance of the judgment or that the judgment is conditional or not final.

Remember as a debtor, if you want to stop the execution of the out of state judgment against you, this is your best chance. If you do not oppose the application for a sister state judgment, the court will allow the application. Once the debt collector gets a sister state judgment, he can enforce the judgment according to laws of the state where the judgment is being enforced. The debt collector can seek a wage garnishment order against you or seek the attachment of your assets including bank accounts.






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