As if … I found out recently that Chase will honor garnishments from any state in the Union even if you as the depositor do not live there, have an office in that state or do business there. Recently, an Arizona company with no physical presence in New York, no office in New York, no employees in New York, and no customers in New York was sued in New York by a creditor. The creditor never even bothered to serve the company with the summons and complaint. They mailed it to the Secretary of State in Albany and then went for a default judgment.
Fast forward, the creditor wins the default judgment for waaaaay more than they ever claimed was owed to them once they tacked on attorneys’ fees and costs. The creditor then takes the default judgment/garnishment down to their local Chase branch and, voila, Chase plays collector for them and sweeps all the money in the Arizona company’s account that day.
When the company complains that the company had no legal notice of the suit and had no connection to New York, the bank replies as follows, in part:
Chase has a physical presence in, and is subject to personal jurisdiction and service of process in, the state where the garnishment order was issued. Since the court or agency issuing the order had jurisdiction over Chase, the garnishment that you are disputing is effective to order Chase to pay funds to the court in that state without any necessity to enforce the judgment in the state where depositor resides, or where the accounts were opened.
Goodbye cash! You lose.
The moral of this story is to stay away from Chase and the other multistates and bank locally. At least make a creditor come to your home state and sue you if they want to collect money from you.
Kevin Fallon McCarthy
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