Q. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND IN CONSUMER DEFENSE?
A. The first thing most clients want to know is why should they use our New York City law firm over other law firms who specialize in consumer defense matters in New York. Our law firm has been representing consumers for over 30 years, and we saved our clients millions of dollars when defending them in claims against them for the collection of debts. That experience gives us the expertise to handle your matter professionally and efficiently. Our experience translates into providing you with the best defense possible. If you are being sued or being held responsible before suit for a debt that you contest or do not owe, our office has the experience to defend you. We have the tools needed to defend you so your rights are protected and not violated.
Q. HOW WILL YOU COMMUNICATE WITH US?
A. The next most important question you should be asking is how will we communicate with you and how responsive are we when you reach out to us? We have found that the best way to establish your trust in our expertise is to have an open line of communication. If you contact us about your case we will always respond to you within 24 hours. We understand that your case is important to you and if we are not returning your requests for information you will loose your trust in our ability to handle your matter. We treat your calls or emails seriously and will gladly return your calls or emails as soon as possible, but always within 24 hours, excepting weekends and holidays. Even if we do not hear from you, we will still communicate with you regarding important case information.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS RATE?
A. Another frequent question is "Will you be able to successfully defend me and will I have to pay the amount that is claimed that I owe?" We believe that if anyone can reduce or defeat the debt claimed, we can, and if you have any defense to a claim, we will optimize it. Because our law firm has been defending consumers and businesses for over 30 years, and we have always had extremely high rates of success in defending consumer and businesses. Furthermore, our state of the art software as well as our highly trained and professional staff make our success ratio higher when defending against a debt you allegedly owe. Our success rate depends on many things, and even before we investigate your matter, we can get a good idea of the defense prospects. Certain cases, for example, are highly suspect while others have a more difficult defense posture. High probability of defeating or reducing the debt is often indicated by:
- the age of the debt;
- whether the debt is pursued by the original creditor or a debt buyer;
- the number of times the debt has been sold, if applicable;
- your credit history;
- your occupation and assets;
- whether the creditor has been paid for any portion of the debt previously;
- whether the creditor or their attorneys possess proof of the debt.
Q. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE MY CASE?
A. Some cases are successfully defended within the first 30-60 days and others can take more than two years. We have found that the better the defense the sooner the case will be resolved. The same is true for a debt that you know you owe and for which the creditor has all the proof necessary to collect the debt. Creditors are in the business of collecting their debts quickly. If you are prepared to pay a substantial portion of the total debt in order to quickly resolve the matter, your case can be resolved quickly. This may be helpful to you if you are in the process of borrowing money to purchase a home or a car, or you are looking to finance your education. We will inquire into all these factors at the beginning your case so we are fully aware of your objectives. Once you understand the process you will be able to make a timely decision on the direction you wish to take. If you do not have a reason to resolve your case quickly sometimes time is on your side as the passage of time will help us in pursuing your defense in order to significantly reduce or defeat the debt completely.
Q. WILL YOU COMPROMISE (SETTLE) MY CASE?
A. Only you can approve a compromise (settlement) of your case. We will do our best to get the debt amount reduced as much as possible under the circumstances, but you will make the ultimate decision of whether to settle the matter. Our guidance will make the process easy for you to make an informed decision. All settlements will be in writing and the terms and conditions of the settlement will be explained to you.
Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE A LETTER FROM A CREDITOR?
A. If you receive a letter from anyone who claims you owe money to do not ignore the letter. Read the letter carefully and try to determine if you owe the money claimed to be due. Sometimes the letter will come from a collection agency or other company who represents the company that owes the debt. Even if you owe the amount claimed to be due you should consult with an attorney, especially if the amount due is significant. An attorney can analyze the claim to determine the best course of action. If you contact the company yourself they will usually demand the full amount due and may offer you a payment plan. Rarely will they offer a reduced settlement, and if they do it's usually because there is a problem with the collection of the debt. Either the statute of limitations has expired or they do not have the documents necessary to prove the debt. An attorney is your best resource to determine these factors.
Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE A SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT?
A. A summons and complaint must be transmitted (served) to you pursuant to very strict laws. If you receive a summons and complaint either personally delivered to you, left at your home or at work or mailed to you do not ignore it. You may also receive a notice from the court that you are being sued even before a summons and complaint is served on you. Again, do not ignore it. The summons will include information of what to do. If you hire a lawyer you do not need to do anything except to give the papers to your lawyer. The lawyer will take care of responding to the complaint and informing the attorney(s) for the plaintiff (creditor) that you are represented by counsel. Once notified of representation, the plaintiff's attorney(s) are no longer allowed to communicate with your either on the phone or through email or regular mail. If you choose to represent yourself you must answer the complaint with a specific time frame. While we do not recommend that you represent yourself are are permitted by law to do so. No other person may represent you other than a lawyer. If you think you still want to represent yourself you should not do so without consulting with an attorney or going to the clerk's office of the court in which you are being sued and asking for the exact procedure neeessary to represent yourself.
Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY BANK ACCOUNT IS FROZEN OR MY WAGES ARE BEING GARNISHED?
A. If you wages are being garnished (or are about to be garnished) or your bank account is frozen, the creditor has a judgment against you. You may have been served with a summons and complaint and were not aware of the case or you are the victim of identity theft or fraud. You should consult with an attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to find out how a judgment was obtained, whether it's a valid judgment and whether the wage garnishment can be stopped or the bank account released (unfrozen). New York State law favors that suits be decided on the merits so if a judgment was obtained against you without your knowledge the court will often vacate the judgment against you and give you an opportunity to defend yourself. An attorney will immediately file an application to stop the wage garnishment or frozen bank account proceeding, so you can be heard as to whether the judgment should be vacated. Our office has a very high success rate in vacating judgments so if your salary is to be garnished or your bank account was frozen you should contact us immediately. We can explain the entire process so you can make a clear decision on what to do. Even if your wages have been garnished for a period of time you should also contact us so we can determine the best course of action.
Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE AN ITEM ON MY CREDIT REPORT THAT I WANT CORRECTED OR DELETED?
A. If there is a judgment against you or you owe a debt it will often appear on your credit report. This entry will usually be listed as a negative or derogatory entry and will negatively affect your credit. If the judgment was obtain by default we often get the negative item removed. If the debt was obtained as a result of identity theft or fraud, while it is difficult we can often get the item updated or removed. If you have an item on your credit report that is negatively affecting your credit score or credit history you should contact us to determine what can be done to help you..
Q. WHAT IF SOMEONE OWES ME MONEY?
A. If someone owes you money and you have been unsuccessful in getting repaid you can contact our office to discuss your options. We have represented creditors in the collection of debt for over thirty years and can give you a host of options in an effort to collect your debt
Q. WHO WILL ANSWER MY ROUTINE QUESTIONS?
A. Your case is immediately assigned directly to Marshal Coleman, who will be your direct contact throughout your case. Call him anytime at 212 693-0501) or email (email@example.com) to discuss your matter. If Mr. Coleman is unable to take your call he will get back to you always within 24 hours and often in a much shorter time frame. You are the client and we are here to help you.