If you fail to pay a creditor the remedy for them is to file an action to get a judgement against you.
If you have been served with a Summons and Complaint generally you will have 20 days to serve an Answer. If you fail to Answer, the creditor will take a Default Judgment against you. Once a Judgment is properly recorded in the County where the Debtor owns Real Property, it automatically becomes a lien on the Debtor's Real Property. After the Creditor receives the Judgment and it is duly recorded the creditor will usually start enforcing the Judgment by filing a Restraining Notice against your Bank Accounts. The Creditor may also serve you with an Information Subpoena requesting that you answer questions about what assets you own, the location of the assets, and where you are employed. If you fail to answer the questions you may be held in Contempt of Court until you respond. Once the Creditor knows your information the Creditor may Garnish your Wages, and Seize your assets.
The Bankruptcy in some cases will prevent the Creditor from collecting on the Judgment because the Debtor is no longer personally liable for the debt. Judgement liens, however, flow through Bankruptcy and continue to attach to Real Property and non-exempt property. If the debtor owns his home, the debtor can void the portion of the lien that is impairing his Homestead Exemption under 11 USC §522(f). One year after the Debtor is discharged, the debtor should file a Motion to Cancel the Judgment pursuant to Debtor and Creditor Law §150 to prevent the Judgment from attaching to after acquired real property.
If you have a judgment against you in Buffalo NY, be sure to get the legal advice you need without delay. Contact an experienced Buffalo Judgment Attorney by calling me at 716-656-7676 before the judgement holder takes action to collect on the debt. Perhaps filing for Bankruptcy is the right solution for you so you can protect your assets and bank accounts from being seized by the creditor.
Call Stephen K. Underwood, Esq.
or get started with a complimentary case evaluation.