They can transfer the PA judgment to New York, or just sue you in New York. Now if they sue you in New York, as opposed to transferring the judgment, then you need to plead affirmative defenses and their actions might be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act since there is already a judgement in place on the debt. The judgment must have been sold and and now a new company is trying to collect. Save all evidence, you may have claims against them based on their communications.
The second law firm may not know that you were sued here. There is a very large industry for selling and re-selling debts and collecting them, and that may be the reason. Also, the suit in New York may be just to enter the judgment there. Without seeing the papers it's impossible for me to tell. They can't get double the debt by suing you twice, but you have to make sure to show up in New York and let the judge know that there is already a judgment for this debt. Also, you should know that in New York, there may be a wage attachement law whereas in Pennsylvania there isn't. So they may be trying to enter the judgment in New York to attach your wages.
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This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. To get legal advice, consult an attorney in your local area or the area where the issue is located. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response is based on the limited facts provided, and without any independent investigation of the author. Given additional or different facts, the response would likely change. The attorney providing this response is only licensed in Pennsylvania, and you should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction if it is outside Pennsylvania.
If you want to try to figure out who owns the debt, check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com which is free. If the Pa collector didn't own the debt, you definitely should contact an attorney who does FDCPA law.
The answer given is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Dwight Bowen is a bankruptcy and consumer attorney and may be contacted at (404) 880-3310.