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The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C. - A New York Consumer Protection Law Firm

A Checklist For Proper Service of a NY Debt Collection Summons and Complaint

By: Robert J. Nahoum

A Checklist for Proper Service of a NY Summons and Complaint

In New York debt collection lawsuits, most cases are won on default where the consumer never answered the complaint.  Many consumers don’t answer because they don’t know they’ve been sued.  Most don’t know they’ve been sued because the debt collector never properly served copies of the summons and complaint.

According to New York State law, before a court can render a judgment, it must first acquire PERSONAL JURISDICTION over you.  Personal jurisdiction is obtained by serving you with a summons and complaint; but, you must be properly served.  In a New York debt collection lawsuit, there are three ways to be served with a summons and complaint (1) Personal Service, (2) Suitable Age and Discretion Service; and (3) Nail and Mail.

Here is a checklist of questions to consider in determining if you’ve been properly served with a New York Debt collection summons and complaint:

Personal Service:
(All Boxes Must be Checked)

□   Did the process server hand you the summons and complaint?
□   Was the service made on any day other than Sunday?

Suitable Age and Discretion Service:
(All Boxes Must be Checked)

□   Did the process hand the summons and complaint to someone else in your home or business?
□   Was that person of suitable age and discretion (was the person old enough and competent enough to understand that the papers were important and needed to be given to you)?
□   Was the service made on any day other than Sunday?
□   Was a copy of the summons and complaint mailed to you?
□   Was the envelope marked “Personal and Confidential”?
□   Was the mailing done within 20 days of the service on the substituted person?
□   Does the envelope not indicate that it is from an attorney or that it concerns an action against you?

Nail and Mail:
(All Boxes Must be Checked)

□   Has there been at least three attempts during working hours and outside of working hours to serve by personal or substituted service?
□   Was a copy of the summons and complaint affixed to the door of your actual residence or place of business (normally with adhesive tape)?
□   Was the service made on any day other than Sunday?
□   Was a copy of the summons and complaint mailed to you?
□   Was the envelope marked “Personal and Confidential”?
□   Was the mailing done within 20 days of the service on the substituted person?
□   Does the envelope not indicate that it is from an attorney or that it concerns an action against you?

If a default judgment has been entered as a result of improper service, it may be reversed or “vacated” by filing an order to show cause with the court.  If successful, the case will return to the beginning and the consumer will be given the chance to answer the complaint and mount a defense.

If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit, stopping harassing debt collectors or suing a debt collector, contact us today to see what we can do for you.  With office located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Rockland County, the Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum defends consumers in debt collection cases throughout the Tristate area including New Jersey.

The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C
Phone: (845) 232-0202
email: info@nahoumlaw.com
Web:

www.nahoumlaw.com
www.BronxDebtDefense.com
www.BrooklynDebtDefense.com
www.NYDebtDefense.com
www.NJDebtDefense.com

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