New York Credit Card Judgments

The common conversation I have these days in my Brooklyn law office goes like this ” Hi, the New York Civil Court entered a judgment against me and now some collection agency is threatening to garnish my wages and freeze my bank account in Brooklyn….also I was never served with any summons and complaint”

It’s happening more and more in New York courts, and my past blogs have dealt with how and why.  But here are some things you should know.

Creditors go after your money by getting a “default credit card judgment” against you.  What that usually means is that because you don’t show up to court, they are able to enter a judgment, give it to a New York City Marshall, and free your bank account and/or garnish your wages, up to 10%.

How long is a judgment on your credit card report?

Creditors can also send you notices that look like they’re from court when they’re really not.  (By the way, its against Federal law to do that so make sure you keep copies of those notices.)  Their hope is that you contact them because it restarts the statute of limitations.  Lets say your Citibank debt is 5 years 11 months old.  The creditors only have up to 6 years in New York law to collect on that debt.  If you contact them on year 5 month 11 day 28, guess what, you just RESTARTED the statute of limitations.  So don’t do it.

The other solution to stopping this madness of freezing your bank accounts is to Vacate the default judgment, which must be done in court.  I can, and will, devote a separate blog to this, but the gist is that you have to go into court and argue why the judgment entered is wrong, and why you’re not responsible to pay the full (or any amount) of the judgment.  You can try and do it on your own, and not to toot my own horn, but its better that an attorney do it for you.  Collection law firms like Kirschenbaum & Phillips, Mel So. Harris & Associates, and Rubin & Rothman deal much differently with an attorney than they do a debtor.

Daniel Gershburg Esq., is a Bankruptcy & Real Estate attorney serving  clients in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.  Mr. Gershburg has given lectures and presentations to both attorneys and the community at large surrounding Bankruptcy and financial advocacy in the New York City area. He is a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.   Currently he is working on his first book giving practical advice about repairing troubled credit and how to improve credit post Bankruptcy.