Questions About Lawsuits & Judgments

New York Civil Litigation Attorneys

Searching the internet for answers to litigation questions can be overwhelming. We've created this library of frequantly asked lawsuit and judgment questions to help New Yorkers find the valuable information their looking for.

Check back for regular updates. If there are other questions that you would like to see answered below, let us know. Please keep in mind that the information is not legal advice, and it's applicability is limited to collection lawsuits and debt judgments in New York.

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What should I do if I have been sued for a debt?
Collectors all around the nation are obtaining default judgments at swift rates. The debt collectors are hoping that you do not obtain legal advice, because that would substantially complicate and possibly jeopardize their case. If you are being sued for a debt, do not give up without a fight. With the representation of our aggressive attorney, we can help you resolve your case.

How to vacate a default judgment?
If a judgment was entered against you without you being proper legal service, you might seek to have the judgment vacated and the case re-opened. A defendant is entitled to have their day in court, however, it is critical to sufficiently evidence to the court that the Plaintiff did not serve you, that you have a meritorious defense to the underlying debt, and that you acted promptly upon notice of the default judgment.

How to resolve a judgment in New York?
Options for resolving civil judgments in New York will vary on a case by case basis. They might include settling the judgment for a reduced amount, paying in monthly installments, fighting the judgment in court, or even filing for bankruptcy.

How to stop a wage garnishment?
A wage garnishment that results from a civil judgment can be "stayed" by the court if the debtor files an Order To Show Cause To Vacate Judgment, or by filing for bankruptcy. However, wage garnishment can also be avoided by paying the debt, or negotiating an arrangement that is acceptable to the creditor. When a Marshal or Sherrif commences a garnishment, a fee of 5% is added, and with the interest that continues to accrue at 9% on the judgment balance, a garnishment is likely one of the costliest methods of repaying a judgment.

Can I be sued for a medical bill?
Hospitals and doctors can bring lawsuits to collect on balances for medical services. There is no general rule to know whether you will be sued on your medical bills, as it is up to the discretion of the medical servicer provider. However, medical debts are oftentimes places in collections, either in-house, or with a 3rd party collection agency, prior to being reviewed for litigation. During that period of time, the patient can explore repayment options. If you received a notice of a lawsuit for medical bills, you need to take prompt action to avoid potentially having a default judgment. An attorney can advise you to defense strategies for medical debts.

Where to get help with a frozen bank account?
Generally, at the onset of a bank restraint, the funds are not actually taken, rather, they are frozen. The creditor can freeze up to double of the judgment amount. There are funds that are exempt from being retrained in New York, such as social security payments, and 90% of recent income earned from employment. Most people can visit their bank and withdraw approximately $2100 from a frozen bank account. Ultimately, the judgment must be resolved in order to avoid further execution efforts. Most commonly, the borrower would either pay the judgment, settle it for a reduced amount, or fight it in court with an Order To Show Cause.

Why is their a judgment lien on my real estate?
In New York, a judgment creditor has several remedies to effectuate recovery, once of which is to place a judgment lien on real estate. The lien secures the judgment to the real property. At a time where the borrower seeks to sell or refinance the property, they could be required to satisfy the judgment in full, with interest, in order to release the lien. Negotiating a reduction while in the midst of a real estate transaction can prove challenging. If possible, it can be advantageous to negotiate to settlement the judgment for a reduced amount prior to commencing the real estate transaction.

​What is a default judgment?
A default judgment can be sought by the Plaintiff when the Defendant fails to make a required appearance. Oftentimes, a default judgment is entered because the borrower does not file an Answer to the lawsuit in a timely fashion, which is either 20 or 30 days from service of the lawsuit papers, and depends on the manner of service. An Answer filed after this period of time might be rejected by the Plaintiff for being late. Even if the borrower files a timely Answer, a default judgment can be sought if the borrower misses a court appearance and the matter is marked for Inquest.

How do I fight a lawsuit from American Express?
American Express uses either in-house or third-party collection law firms to bring lawsuits in New York & New Jersey. You might want to adjust your strategy depending on which firm is handling the case, but generally, you will want to submit answer the summons & complaint in a timely manner. Make sure you include any necessary admissions, denials, affirmative defense, and counterclaims or offsets. Learn how our attorneys defended a client and helped them negotiate american express lawsuit that allowed them to save a substantial sum, while repaying the debt in affordable monthly payments.

What is a Confession of Judgment?
A confession of judgment can be an effective tool to help creditor and lenders secure a judgment without the need to commence an actual lawsuit. If you sign a confession of judgment, it will let the creditor obtain a civil court judgment upon the occurence of a stated event or trigger. For example, the COJ might allow entry of judgment upon the borrower missing a payment. Vacating a COJ can be challenging unless the affidavit is facially insufficient. However, it may be possible to settle the amount claimed in the confession for less then the full balance.

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