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Serving me at a former address .I dont live there.

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I have someone who sent a letter to the company stating they would be taking money out of my paycheck for a credit card debt from back when I was in college and that was 24 years ago.They claim their company brought the old debt and they are trying to collect..I told them this and they said they served someone who said they were me?I called my mother and sister who live there and nobody ever came to the house looking for me for one and two can they do this? Take money out of my paycheck  with the claim they served me at a former address?I called them and they said it did not matter if I claimed to not live there they served someone there and that was that? I tried talking to the law firm the company said they were using but then I looked them up and they have issues of their own with harassing people for one and some fishy practices,

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If this is the first you have heard from the JDB, you need to request the 5 day letter. In the meantime, get their name and address and demand validation of the debt, including a copy of the judgement they are claiming on. They are required to provide that per the FDCPA.

Because the JDB may say the request is not timely, I would also go to the courthouse in the county of the former address and find out if there is a judgement against you. The courthouse should be able to provide you with the file. If there is no judgement, then no, the JDB cannot garnish your paycheck.

As for the rules of service, RULE 5 (b) says they can leave the papers with someone of suitable age at the last known address of the defendant so they probably have you on that. You can read the Maine rules of civil procedure for service here: http://www.courts.maine.gov/rules_adminorders/rules/text/MRCivPPlus/mr_civ_p_5_plus_9-2012.pdf

Depending on how much time has passed, I would doubt you can get this vacated at this point. Of course, if they got the judgement within the past year, you might have a chance to get it vacated.

As for statute of limitations, judgements in Maine expire after 20 years so it would depend on when they got the judgement. If the judgement is indeed more than 20 years old, then you can tell the JDB to go pound sand as they cannot collect.

Finally, if it turns out there is a valid judgement that is less than 20 years old, then you can certainly try to settle it. They will demand a high price to do so however because they can garnish you checks, take bank accounts, or otherwise make your life a financial hell until they get their money.

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But the so called serving did not take place in Maine I was living in Maine they served and old address in New York. The judgement  when I first heard from them was 3 years ago.I did switch jobs and havent heard anything from them at this new job.But it is only a matter of time.I dont get how I can be served papers but not be.I was not notified of what was going on someone at an old address was.

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Again, New York has similar rules where service as to Maine (you can do a Google search to find them) so all that needs to happen is that the papers are left with a person of suitable age at the last known address. You can try to check how the papers were served when you get a copy of the case from wherever it was heard. That will tell you who was served and how it was done.

You can still request a copy of the judgement against you from the JDB if within the 30 day contact window. You can also contact the county court in New York where the judgement was issued to see if one was issues (and when, see below). I would also check with your local court in Maine to see if the judgement has been domesticated. If not, they really cannot collect in Maine if you work for someone local (as opposed to a national company) without first domesticating the judgement.

Another thing to check is the age of the judgement. In New York, a judgement is good for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years if the renewal occurs in the last year before the 10 years are up. Once the 20 years are up, they cannot collect anymore. If indeed the Date of First Default (DOFD) was 24 years ago, it could be possible that the statute on this judgement has expired. Also check for a renewal. If they did not do one and the judgement is more than 10 years old, then the statute of the judgement has expired.

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Guest usctrojanalum

A Common misconception.  Judgments can be enforced in NY for twenty years, but liens on real property expire after 10 years and can be renewed for another ten.  Even my law professors in New York get this wrong. The statute is worded in a silly way, that makes it very confusing.

Next, you can likely get the underlying judgment vacated in New York based upon not living there when the papers were served, but it will be very hard to do by yourself while living in Maine.  Do you have the resources to hire an attorney? I could send you a PM of some attorneys I know who do that work and charge reasonable fees. 

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