Vacating a Default Judgment in New York
New York Debt Defense Attorneys Explain Default Judgments
When a person fails to enter a response to a complaint in the appropriate timeframe or fails to show up for his or her court hearing, the court will oftentimes issue a judgment in the favor of the other party. This is referred to as a default judgment. Unfortunately, there are many debtors who end up receiving default judgments because they were not properly informed about the lawsuits that have been filed against them by creditors. When this happens, they may have grounds to take legal action against the creditor and get that judgment vacated. At Lebedin Kofman LLP, we have New York City debt relief attorneys who can help you stand up for your rights after you received an unfair default judgment.
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Improper Service of Court Documents
When a creditor files a lawsuit against a debtor, the law requires that creditor to properly serve the debtor with the court action papers. Some creditors might take shortcuts, such as by failing to provide in-person delivery of the papers when required, or failing to provide notice to the debtor at the appropriate address. There are even some creditors that outright lie, claiming that the papers were served when no such action ever occurred. This is a practice that is referred to as "sewer service." An experienced attorney will know what steps need to be taken for vacating a default judgment on the grounds of improper service, or "lack of personal jurisdiction."
You may also be able to get your default judgment overturned by proving "excusable default." A person can use these grounds when the individual is able to prove that he or she had a legitimate reason for failing to provide an answer to the civil complaint or for failing to show up in court. A person can also use these grounds by proving that he or she has a strong defense to the plaintiff's claims. For example, the defendant may be able to show that a severe illness prevented him or her from going to court, that he or she was a victim of identity theft (and therefore did not incur the debt), or even that he or she has a good reason for disputing the amount of debt that the plaintiff is claiming.
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According to areportby the New Economy Project (which was formerly known as NEDAP), the number of debt collection lawsuits in New York have skyrocketed over the past decade, with more than 200,000 cases being filed in 2011 alone. There are many creditors that use deceptive tactics in these lawsuits in order to win default judgments against debtors. Contact a New York City debt relief lawyer from Lebedin Kofman LLP for aggressive legal representation in your case. We offer free case evaluations!
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