New York City Collections, Judgments & Interest…OH MY!

By: Daniel Gershburg, Esq.

New Client in the Brooklyn office. Great guy.  Savy businessman.  Had some credit problems in the past and had a judgment entered in the amount of $70,000 with an income execution. In english that means a New York City Marshall taps into this individual’s account on a monthly basis and takes a certain amount of money to satisfy the judgment against the client.  And these judgments aren’t big court cases.  They usually derive from a credit card which went unpaid, which went to collection agency #1 which didn’t get paid, and then over to #2, #3, and finally a law firm!  That law firm goes to court and sends the person a notice that they are being sued.  Person typically never answers (not the smartest move, but understandable).  Then the law firm gets a judgment, plus INTEREST, plus fees, and they start looking for assets.

Back to the client.  Client now has the Marshall in his pocket and can’t get him out…yet.

What to do if you’re in this situation: Dispute, ask for Validation, negotiate, kick, scream, defend against the lawsuit, and don’t give up.  If you dont have time, hire a lawyer who can do this for you.  Collection agencies and law firms whose sole job it is to collect debts can tell you anything to collect, but typically they have a large amount of leeway to negotiate the debt down for you.  I could care less if you think that a $3,000.00 judgment wont hurt you.  It will.  It will continue to rack up interest, fees, etc. and credit collectors wont give in.  They’ll search for assets until they find them.  They will call you at work, at home, on the road.  You simply don’t need the headache and there are an INCREDIBLE NUMBER OF WAYS TO NEGOTIATE OR ELIMINATE THIS DEBT!!  Do not give up.  Do not stop picking up the phone, throw your hands in the air and hope this goes away.  Instead deal with this issue, or let an attorney deal with this issue like you are going to battle.  Seriously.  If you don’t think you owe what a collection agency thinks you owe, dispute and fight.  It will be worth your while.