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I'm Being Sued For Credit Card Debt In New York. How Do I Respond?

When a borrower has missed at least one payment, a creditor generally has a right to demand repayment per the terms of the lender-borrower agreement that governs the relationship between the borrower and the creditor. When a borrower has missed at least three payments in a row, a creditor will stop demanding payment on this defaulted debt and instead enlist a collection agency's services or sell the account debt to a debt buyer. At this point, the borrower will not be dealing with the original creditor but will be dealing with the debt collection agency assigned to their account or the debt buyer who has purchased their debt.

If the borrower then continues to fail to make required payments on their account, the original creditor, debt buyer, or collections agency will file a lawsuit to demand repayment on the account. Borrowers have rights when they are being sued for debt repayment. These rights differ depending on whether the account in question is a mortgage, an auto loan, a student loan, back taxes, medical debt, or credit card debt. If you are being sued for an overdue credit card balance – whether you rightfully owe this debt or not – it's important to understand your rights and options under the law so that you can make informed choices about your next steps.

What Are A Summons And Complaints?

A summons serves as your official notice that you’ve been sued. In any consumer credit case filed in New York, a summons must also be accompanied by a complaint. The state’s Consumer Credit Fairness Act mandates that all complaints contain critical details concerning the debts in question. Alongside the summons and detailed complaint outlining details about the debt for which you are being sued, you should be provided with either a copy of your borrower-lender agreement or a debt charge-off statement. Please bring each of these items with you to your free consultation at our offices.

Why You Must Respond To The Lawsuit

If you don’t answer the complaint and mount a defense on your own behalf – with or without the assistance of a skilled attorney – a default judgment in favor of your creditor will be entered by the court. A default judgment allows your creditor to win their case simply because you did not answer the summons and complaint or otherwise defend against the lawsuit.

Some people are under the impression that allowing a default judgment to be entered is a good idea because they believe that they are going to lose their case anyway, and failing to respond to a lawsuit saves them time, stress, and legal fees. However, it is critically important to respond to a lawsuit even if you don't think you are going to win.

If you seek the assistance of a skilled attorney, they may be able to mount a successful defense strategy or negotiate a manageable debt settlement solution. A debt settlement agreement would allow you to benefit from potentially significant debt relief and allow you to pay off the remainder of your balance in manageable installments. If a default judgment is entered against you, the creditor holding that judgment can garnish your wages, put a lien on your property, or seize funds from your bank account in order to obtain repayment of their judgment. Even if you don't believe you can win your case outright, allowing an attorney to advocate for your interests will almost certainly result in a better outcome than that inspired by a default judgment.

Answering The Lawsuit And Executing A Strong Defensive Strategy

You will want to connect with our firm as soon as you can after receiving notice that you have to connect with our firm as soon as you possibly can after receiving notice that you have been sued. Depending upon how you received your summons and complaint, you only have between 10 and 30 days to respond to your lawsuit by filing a formal answer with the court. If you don’t file an answer within this period of time, a default judgment may be entered against you.

Depending upon the circumstances of your case, we may choose to file an answer with the court detailing our debt lawsuit defense strategy, or we may ask the court to dismiss your case outright. If we file an answer, we may generally deny that you owe the debt, explain that the debt has already been paid, or raise any defenses that apply to your situation. For example, we may point out that the statute of limitations has run on this debt, and you can no longer be held accountable for it.

After filing an answer, we will attempt to negotiate with your creditor if doing so is appropriate under the circumstances. The outcome of a successful negotiation may involve the dismissal of the lawsuit in favor of a debt settlement arrangement. Some of your debt could be forgiven, and the rest paid back in manageable installments.

Connect With A Skilled New York Consumer Rights Lawyer For Personalized Assistance

Our firm has extensive experience advocating on behalf of the rights of credit card borrowers. We also have extensive experience advocating for the rights of individuals who have been sued for credit card debts they don't owe. Regardless of which circumstance you are facing, we are here to help.

For a free initial case evaluation, connect with the dedicated legal team at the Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC, by calling 888-301-0584 or contacting us online. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, we may be able to get it dismissed or ensure that your repayment situation is manageable. In either event, by responding to your lawsuit with our assistance, you’ll almost certainly secure a superior outcome than the one you’d face if you simply sat back and waited for a default judgment to be entered by the court. We look forward to speaking with you.