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What To Expect When Being Sued For Credit Card Debt In New York

If you have received notice that you are being sued for credit card debt, you are likely facing one of two circumstances. First, you don't actually owe the debt named in the summons and complaint you have received. There have been some instances of mistaken identity, or you were simply an authorized user on the account being targeted by the lawsuit. Second, you do owe the debt in question, and you are unsure how you will navigate the lawsuit if you can't pay it all back right away.

It is important to understand that you have rights under the law regardless of which of these circumstances you are facing. Working with an experienced consumer advocate attorney at our firm can help to ensure that you secure the most favorable results possible, given the particulars of your situation. We cannot guarantee results, as no reputable law firm can. But we can assure you that we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients and that we know how to get results.

Receiving A Summons And Complaint

Chances are that you learned you were being sued because you were served a summons and a complaint. A summons serves as formal notification that a creditor, debt buyer, or collections agency is suing you for nonpayment of a debt. A complaint accompanies a summons. A complaint identifies the debt you are being sued for and details how much you owe. Under New York law, you should have also been provided with a copy of your borrower contract or a charge-off statement concerning the debt in question. Please bring each of these documents with you when you arrive for your free case evaluation at our firm.

Meeting With An Attorney To Craft A Plan Of Action

Depending upon the details of your situation, we may file a motion to dismiss your case or a formal answer to the lawsuit. We would likely move to dismiss your case if you have been sued for a debt you don't owe or if the statute of limitations has run. Under New York law, creditors only have three years to file a lawsuit after a borrower has stopped making payments on an account. If they have waited longer than three years to sue you, your creditor should be barred from pursuing their lawsuit.

If we need to submit a formal answer to the lawsuit, we will have between 10 and 30 days from the date on which you received your summons and complaint to do so. If we don’t act within that period of time, a default judgment could be entered against you. A default judgment is, essentially, a “no-show win” for the creditor that filed the lawsuit. This means that if you don’t respond to the lawsuit within the timeframe allowed by law, the creditor who is suing you will win by default.

You want to avoid having a default judgment entered against you for several reasons. Even if you owe the debt in question, you won't necessarily be required to pay all of it if we can negotiate a successful debt settlement agreement on your behalf, or we can mount a successful defense against the lawsuit itself. If a default judgment is entered against you, we can't advocate on behalf of your interests at all unless the court agrees to reopen the case. Also, if a default judgment is entered against you, you won't be able to pay back your remaining balance in manageable installments. Instead, the creditor suing you will be empowered to garnish your wages, see funds from your bank account, or put a lien on your property until they are repaid. This is an outcome best avoided.

When we submit an answer on your behalf, we will detail any defensive strategies we may use to fight back against the lawsuit. For example, we may successfully argue that you do not owe the full amount cited in the complaint. We may also argue that the creditor engaged in bad faith dealings that caused you to refrain from paying your debt because you were under the impression that your balance was going to be resolved in some way based on your creditor's assurances. We will tailor our defensive strategy to your unique circumstances, as no two collection lawsuits are ever exactly alike.

Pursuing A Debt Settlement Agreement

If we are not in a position to have your case dismissed, and it is unlikely that we are going to secure an outright win in court, we will do our best to successfully negotiate with your creditor to resolve the matter before your case goes before a judge. We have extensive experience negotiating debt settlement arrangements that allow borrowers to benefit from significant debt forgiveness and pay off the remainder of their balance owed in manageable installments. If we can resolve your case in this way, this approach may benefit you significantly.

Connect With A Capable New York Consumer Rights Lawyer Today To Learn More

Schedule a free, no-risk legal consultation with our team today if you're being rightfully or wrongfully sued for credit card debt in New York. Remember that you only have between 10-30 days to file an answer with the court under New York law, so you'll need to act fast if you want to avoid having a default judgment entered against you.

By meeting with our knowledgeable legal team, you’ll clarify your rights and options under the law. The information noted above serves as helpful general guidance, but nothing compares to receiving personalized professional feedback once an experienced attorney has heard the details of your unique case. If you haven’t already done so, schedule your free consultation with the Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC, by calling 888-301-0584 or contacting us online. We look forward to speaking with you.