Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Tennessee

Can I have two judgments for the same account placed against me?

I was living in TN five years ago and had a judgment placed against me there. I moved to NY and did not hear from the creditor, but they have been checking my credit report nearly everymonth for the last year. I contacted the creditor to attempt a settlement, but they told me I would have to wait for them to contact me once they computed ''how much I owe.'' Can they put a second judgment against me if I have already have an open judgment? How much interest do I have to pay?

Asked on 8/01/03, 7:00 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Andrew Nitzberg Andrew Nitzberg & Associates
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Re: Can I have two judgments for the same account placed against me?

It is never fun having something chase you from your past. There are two (2) ways to deal with this problem. You are correctly pursuing the first - talk with the holder of the judgment and seek to negotiate a settlement/payment schedule. The second is to challenge the original judgment in the original court (Tennessee) as a wrong judgment (a default judgment can be easily set aside by an 'order to show cause'.

The judgment holder is going to have the NY court

'recognize' the Tennessee judgment. This is not something that you can successfully fight (The US Supreme Court has ruled on this issue a long time ago. ). Then they may take legal action to have the judgment collected here in NY. Collection techniques include seizing/taking your bank accounts or other property owned by you of that nAture (land) or having payments subtracted from your paycheck. Many people deal with this problem through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (I do a lot of work in that area) but if it is only one debt and is less than 20,000 it might not be your best option.

You are welcome to a consultation at no fee at my offices at 42 west 44th st., NY,NY. Please call for an appointment first. (646) 591-5786

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8/02/03, 12:04 pm
Guy Lewit Guy Mitchell Lewit, Esq.
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Re: Can I have two judgments for the same account placed against me?

Technically no, but since each state has its own legal system your creditor can (and will at some point) domesticate the judgment in New York if you have assets here. If the TN judgment was entered on default (they sued you and you did not appear in that action) the law in NY requires them to sue you here using the TN judgment as the basis for the law suit. There really is no defense as all the court in NY does is determine whether the TN court had jurisdiction over you and if so, they'll respect the TN court's judgment. If you get rid of the TN judgment by appearing there and challenging and ultimatley vacating the TN judgment, the NY action is over since the basis for the NY action no longer exists. If that is not possible, try to settle here. If they won't settle you have to compute the amount due (call the court in TN and ask what the interest rate is on judgments and do the math (principal x interest rate divided by 365 (to get the daily interest) multiply by the number of days since the judgment was entered.) If you offer to pay that to the creditor -IN WRITING BY CERTIFIED MAIL RRR- you may be able to avoid additional interest since you made an offer to pay in full...and your creditor SHOULD accept, even if you have to pay in installments. Call Nitzberg...he can help.

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8/03/03, 8:37 pm
Debra Palazzo Law Offices of Debra Palazzo, LLC
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Re: Can I have two judgments for the same account placed against me?

No, not a second judgment but a continuation of the first. In NY, interest is 9% post judgment, don't know TN law. The judgment is NOT good in NY unless they file it in the county where you live or have property. I guess since you contacted them they now have that information. But, if you just want it off your credit report realize that it will drop off after 7 yrs from filing.

Debra

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8/01/03, 8:34 pm

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