Thank you!!! That was very helpful.
I took your advice and called the small claims office and they do, in fact, have a judgement against me. I can prove that it was obtained illegally, though. I want to fight it and get my name cleared, but I don't live in NY anymore. I will be there next week and hopefully I can work something out while I'm there, but I have two issues:
1. If they reopen the case, I will not be available to show up for a hearing.
It doesn't seem right to me that the reason the judgement is illegal (I am no longer a NY resident, and had not been one for months before he filed against me, which is against the NY small claims regulations) is the same reason that I could get stuck having to pay this guy money I don't owe...bc I am not close enough to the location to see the proceedings through. It feels completely unjust.
2. I am worried that while I'm trying to clear my name, my bank account could be frozen. I have no idea how long it takes to get a lien. I imagine it would be a few weeks at least, but since I have not been in a similar situation before, I really have no idea.
If I wait a week or two to try to fight this, is my bank account safe? The first call I got from this guy was about a week ago.