New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney

The Langel Firm Wipes Out $30K Garnishment by Great Seneca Financial

Facing a $30,433 Garnishment Notice by Great Seneca Financial Corporation, we quickly filed court papers to attack the validity of the judgment and the validity of the plaintiff.

In the action, Great Seneca was named as "Great Seneca Financial Corporation AAO Direct Merchant's Bank." My view about using the "AAO" designation is reflected in a prior blog, "Debt Buyers Using Confusing Names is a Hot Issue for The Langel Firm."

Aside from the misidentification of the plaintiff, it turns out that Great Seneca is a dissolved Maryland company that later sold the judgment. Typical in debt-buyer litigation, the current owner of rights to the judgment is different than the entity cited in the caption of the case. That distinction is fertile ground to make capacity arguments from a defensive standpoint, but it also supports arguments of deception under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Rather than address our arguments, Great Seneca, represented by Eltman, Eltman & Cooper, P.C., agreed to vacate the judgment, vacate the garnishment, and discontinue the action without our client having to pay anything.

Better Business Bureau: Disputed Debt Collection Practices and Unverified Claims by Great Seneca Financial Corp

The pattern of complaints, as reflected by the content from the Better Business Bureau Website, appears to center around:

  1. Allegations of Owed Debt: Individuals report being contacted regarding debts they do not recognize.
  2. Collection Actions: The complaints involve aggressive collection actions such as wage garnishment, freezing of accounts, and legal threats.
  3. Verification Issues: Complainants express concern over the debt's legitimacy and potential inaccuracies in the personal information and documentation they received.
  4. Lack of Responsiveness: The company in question, Great Seneca Financial Corp, is deemed unresponsive or unreachable when individuals attempt to inquire about the claims.
  5. Age of Debt: The debts are reported as being very old, often nearly two decades, leading to questions about the validity and collectibility of the debt.

What Does "AAO" Mean in Debt Collection Lawsuits?

The term "as assignee of" in debt collection lawsuits indicates that the party bringing the lawsuit is not the original creditor but has been assigned the rights to collect the debt. When a debt is sold or transferred from the original creditor to another entity, that entity becomes the "assignee." This means they have acquired the legal rights to collect the debt and can take legal action, including filing lawsuits against the debtor.

For example, if a debt collection company files a lawsuit and lists themselves "as assignee of [Original Creditor's Name]," it means that the original creditor has assigned its rights to the debt to the collection company. The collection company is now in charge of the debt and is the entity that would receive any payments made on the debt moving forward.

Collection Defense Intake Form: The Langel Firm