First, congratulations on taking the time to research and learn more about debt collection defense. There ARE things that can be done to make all of this go away, and we can help you. We recommend you read through the entire process, but here are some links if you’d like to skip to the relevant parts:
How much does this cost & More FAQ’s – Scroll Below
You’ve Been Served with a Summons & Complaint.
Once a debt collection lawsuit has been filed against you by a creditor, the countdown begins, and you have a limited amount of time to daft, file and serve your answer with affirmative defenses. Since every debt collection lawsuit is unique, and every summons and complaint filed by a debt collection attorney is custom-drafted for each defendant, you must draft a custom answer addressing the specific items in your summons and complaint in order to take full advantage of the legal remedies available to you. If you fail to timely file an answer, or fail to state one of your affirmative defenses, you permanently waive such relief that may have been available to use to have your case dismissed.
If an answer is timely filed alleging all of the available affirmative defenses, the debt collector will have a very high burden of proof to meet in court. Oftentimes, debt collection law firms make mistakes in their pleadings, and fail to submit required documents by required times. Oftentimes they are unable to produce their required witnesses at trial, or properly authenticate documents when requested to do so. Unless these errors are spotted and affirmatively used for your defense, you may miss out on opportunities to have your case dismissed.
You’ve Been Notified of a Default Judgment.
Your Wages are Being Garnished.
Your Bank Account Has Been Restrained.
Collection of debts is a complicated matter, and debt collectors often fail to follow the proper procedures required by law to collect a debt. Debt collectors often resort to extreme measures to collect debts, including obtaining judgments against parties who are not responsible for the debts, attempting to collect debts after the statute of limitations has expired, obtaining default judgments without the consumer’s knowledge due to improper service of process, and failing to follow proper procedures required by law. Often times their failure to follow the rules can result in your case being dismissed.
If a “default judgment” is obtained against you, and you were never served with a Summons and Complaint, we can draft, serve and file a legal document called an “Order to Show Cause”, which asks a judge to vacate the original default judgment. For the judgment to be vacated, certain affirmative defenses must be alleged in your Order to Show Cause and supporting documents. Simply stating you were not served with the summons and complaint is an insufficient reason to have the original default motion vacated, and if you simply do so, your motion will be denied, and the original judgment will stand.
Once your Order to Show Cause is properly served and filed, the debt collection attorney will file opposition papers with the court, stating reasons to the judge why your request to vacate the default judgment should be denied. We will file reply papers on your behalf, solidifying your legal position and addressing the debt collection lawyer’s issues. We will then appear in court on your behalf, along with the debt collection lawyer suing you, and verbally argue your Order to Show Cause in front of the judge.
If your Order to Show Cause is granted, and default judgment is vacated, it would be as if the clock was set back to the first day the lawsuit was allegedly served. Any restraints on your bank account will be released (allowing you full access to the money in your bank account again), and any wage garnishment would cease. However, you must still defend yourself in the lawsuit, or the debt collection lawyer would just obtain another judgment.
At this time, we would obtain a copy of the summons and complaint from the debt collection lawyer, and draft a custom answer with affirmative defenses on your behalf, and serve it on the debt collection lawyer and file with the court. We would then litigate the matter to conclusion on your behalf. Debt collection lawsuits could take anywhere form 1 year to up to 6 years or more to litigate to conclusion. This could involve drafting and responding to various discovery demands, reviewing documents, filing and responding to Notices to Admit, requesting and conducting Traverse Hearings, attending arbitration hearings, attending regular court conferences, conducting depositions, preparing for trial, and conducting a trial through conclusion (cross-examining witnesses, summations, objections, requesting relief).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire You to Defend Me?
We prefer to charge a flat rate for each defense, rather than the traditional Lawyer-bill-hourly route. We’ve found that there are many variables to each debt collection lawsuit, some resulting in dozens of court appearances and motions over a span of what could potentially be years. If you have to pay us an hourly rate, it won’t be long until our bill will equal your original debt.
So, we decided to make things simple for our clients:
If you are being sued by a creditor in Nassau County District Court or Suffolk County District Court, we will charge you a one-time flat rate of $2,000 for your defense.
If you are being sued by a creditor in Nassau County Supreme Court or Suffolk County Supreme Court, we will charge you a one-time flat rate of $5,000 for your defense.
(*We only represent clients in Nassau County and Suffolk County for these rates. Please call us for NYC rates.)
There are no additional bills, process service fees, or filing fees, and we do not charge any additional fees for court appearances, regardless of how many there are. This one-time fee will have us, by your side, all the way through the conclusion of the case, even if your case lasts for years.
Our one-time flat-rate fee covers all applicable legal work by us necessary to dispose of your case, including, but not limited to:
- Drafting a custom answer with affirmative defenses on your behalf
- Covering all process service fees
- Covering all court filing fees
- Drafting, filing and responding to various discovery demands
- Drafting, filing and responding to Motions to Dismiss
- Drafting, filing and responding to Motions for Summary Judgment
- Requesting and reviewing discovery documents
- Drafting, filing and responding to Notices to Admit
- Attending all scheduled court conferences on your behalf for the entire length of the action
- Requesting and conducting Traverse Hearings (if applicable)
- Attending arbitration hearings
- Attending and conducting Trial De Novos (if applicable)
- Conducting depositions (if applicable)
- Preparing for trial
- Conducting your trial through conclusion (cross-examining witnesses, summations, objections, requesting relief).
Q: Will the creditor continue to call or contact me once I retain you?
A: No. Once we notify all parties that you are represented by an attorney, you will no longer receive any contact from your creditor.
Q: How Long Will Everything Take?
A: As each lawsuit is unique, we have no way of knowing until we review all of the legal documents and start to litigate the matter. Most debt collection lawsuits take an average of two years to litigate.
If you’re ready to begin, please contact us below.
Do you have a general question about debt collection defense that you would like to ask us, or would you like to contact us about your case?