What is an Adjournment in a New York Debt Collection Case?

By: Robert J. Nahoum

A man in suit and tie with his arms crossed.


You’ve been served was a summons and complaint or discovered that you have a default judgment entered against you.  It’s a debt collector suing you on an old credit card debt.  You’ve done your homework on the internet and realized that you can’t simply ignore the case so you filed your answer or your order to show cause.  You show up to court on the date provided expecting to receive justice and put all this to an end but that’s not what happens.  The debt collection attorney is unprepared and the court grants an adjournment.  What does this mean for you?


An adjournment, sometimes called a “continuance†or “application†is the putting off or postponing of proceedings to another day.  Adjournments are granted by New York debt collection courts all the time for all sorts of reasons.  In fact, in many cases, adjournments are the rule rather than the exception.  Motions, hearings, conferences and other court appearances are routinely adjourned at least once before a decision is made.

Adjournments can be very disruptive and damaging for debt collection defendants who have to appear in court.  Many people have to take time away from work or find child care in order to make it to a court appearance.  The debt collectors know this and take advantage of it.  Some dirty debt collectors will try to put things off to another day hoping that the defendant won’t make it to court the next time giving the debt collector a default judgment.

To protect parties from abusive adjournment requests and to move cases more quickly through the system, some courts and some judges have imposed rules limiting the use of adjournments.  In court you will hear the lawyers and court personal referring to the first appearance as being a “first time on†as a method of bolstering their application for an adjournment.


Because court dates are so often adjourned, especially in the debt collection courts, court appearances can sometimes take 2, 3 and sometimes even more trips to the courthouse.  If adjournments like this impose a particular burden on you, don’t agree to it. Insist that the application be made to the judge and explain why an adjournment would impose a significant burden to you.

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
(845) 232-0202