ARE YOU BEING SUED BY A CREDITOR?
In New York State, thousands of lawsuits are filed by creditors and debt-buyers every month. Whether you have been sued by a credit card company, bank, credit union or debt-buyer, it is crucial to respond to the lawsuit in the correct manner and in the short time-frame allowed by law. Failing to make the correct arguments can cause you to lose your case as soon as it starts and can potentially cost you thousands of dollars (or more) in the long-run.
Graham & Borgese is extremely well-versed in debt defense laws, the legal process and the various deadlines involved and will take the time to carefully explain everything to you. Together, our law firm will fight to save you as much money as possible, while limiting damage to your credit reports and eliminating the worry and fear associated with taking your creditor head-on, all by yourself
I’ve Been Sued. What’s Next?
In New York, once a creditor has filed a lawsuit against you, they have 120 days to serve you with a copy of the Summons & Complaint. Among other things, these documents tell you where the case was filed, why the creditor believes they are entitled to a judgment against you, how much they think they are owed, and how much time you have to file an Answer to the lawsuit.
How much time you have to file an Answer depends on how you were served and the Court in which the lawsuit was filed (i.e. Supreme Court versus City Court, etc.). This is explained at the bottom of the Summons and if you have any questions about your deadline, you can contact our law firm for help.
It’s also very important to make sure that an Answer is written out in accordance with legal guidelines and served upon the plaintiff’s attorneys and the Court to make sure that it is recorded so that a default judgment isn’t entered against you.
Please Note: Calling the plaintiff or their attorneys after you’ve been served doesn’t constitute filing an Answer to the lawsuit. Therefore, even if you come to terms on a tentative payment arrangement, it does not automatically end the lawsuit, and a sneaky creditor may move the process along to get a judgment without your knowledge. Plus, it is just always a good idea to have payment or settlement agreements in writing for future reference and enforcement.
If you feel that you were not served properly with a Summons & Complaint, and only just discovered that a judgment was already entered against you, then the process just became that much more complex and it really a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to determine what you can do to improve your situation.
I Filed My Own Answer, but Now What?
Once the lawsuit has been answered, the parties engage in a process where information pertaining to the Complaint is gathered and shared (this is called “Discovery”). Discovery usually takes the form of written questions and requests that certain types of evidence be produced. Everything must be answered truthfully and by a specific deadline.
If a creditor feels like they already have enough proof to win their case, they may skip Discovery and may quickly file a motion to win the case outright.
You and your creditor can try to negotiate a settlement while the lawsuit is pending, but if you’re unable agree to specific terms (and assuming the case isn’t first decided by a motion), then the Court will eventually schedule a trial, in which both sides must present their arguments/evidence.
Graham & Borgese Can Help.
Not surprisingly, most people find the legal process complicated, confusing and even pretty frightening. Graham & Borgese understands this and that is why our law firm works so diligently to take your worries away.
When you hire our law firm, our lawyers make it so you can:
- Avoid dealing with aggressive debt collectors yourself;
- Avoid having to go to Court;
- Avoid trying to learn legal processes and procedures;
- Prevent a judgment from being entered against you;
- Obtain proof of your debt before you settle;
- Obtain a fair and reasonable settlement that you can live with;
- Protect your credit report from harmful judgments that can really hurt your credit score;
- Prevent your wages from being garnished;
- Protect your bank accounts from being frozen; and
- Protect your property from liens that would prevent you from selling your home.
Is Hiring Graham & Borgese Expensive?
Our law firm realizes that if you are being sued for an unpaid debt, that you likely don’t have very much money to spend towards legal representation. That is why Graham & Borgese is dedicated to offering quality legal representation for people of all financial situations. We offer extremely affordable rates and accept payment plans to make our fees even more affordable. When you contact our firm for a free consultation, you will be told exactly how much it would cost to hire us, so you can make an educated decision on whether or not you’d like to retain our services. Our goal is to save you as much money as possible – and we even take that into account when quoting our legal fees. Call our debt defense attorneys in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City.