Dena Standley | October 24, 2022
Summary: When you get sued for debt in New York, you must respond with a written Answer or risk losing by default. After you’ve filed your Answer, it’s important to stay up-to-date on your case status. This will help you be prepared for your day in court and know how to make the best responses. Use SoloSuit to get debt collectors off your back today.
Being sued by a debt collector in New York can set you back financially. It also robs you of precious time as you think and plan how to handle the lawsuit. For instance, you must respond to the lawsuit, pay applicable filing fees, and spend time preparing for court because hiring a lawyer could do more harm to your financial situation. New York has made it easy for you to follow up on your debt collection case by allowing access to court records remotely or visiting the courthouse where the creditors filed the suit.
Collection agencies usually hope consumers will not be keen on following up on their case so that they can have the upper hand during the hearing. Hence, checking your court records is crucial to ensure you are fully prepared for your day in court.
In this article, we’ll explain how to access your court records online and in person. But first, let’s explore how New York’s civil court structure functions.
When you know which New York court has jurisdiction over your case, it’ll make responding a lot easier. Since debt collection lawsuits are considered civil cases, we will focus on New York’s civil court structure in this section.
New York’s civil court structure is relatively complex compared to other states. It has multiple levels of courts catering to citizens living within and outside New York City. There are three main categories of courts and under each are several courts. They are:
The graphic below further illustrate how New York’s civil court system is structured:
Your debt collection case will most likely be heard in your county’s City or Town and Village Court, depending on the amount in question. If you are in New York, look for your case records in the Civil Court.
When you get sued for a debt in New York, you have to respond with a written Answer before the New York deadline. Check out this video to learn more about how to prepare an Answer:
Your case number (also known as the index number in New York) helps to uniquely identify your court records during the hearing and when you make an official request to access them. The case number contains letters, numbers, and characters.
To find your case number, visit the courthouse where your lawsuit is filed and fill out a request form provided by the clerk. They’ll partly use the details in the form to find your case number—ensure the information submitted is correct. Use the following New York court directory to find your courthouse.
You can also find your case number online by going to New York's WebCivil eCourt Search Portal and using the party, attorney, or judge search option.
Court records help you learn information such as the date to appear before the judge, the courtroom number, the judge's name, a summary of the lawsuit, and other vital case information. More detailed court records also give details of the documents the debt collector filed with the court and the answer you sent. You can access this information either at the courthouse in person or online.
Visiting the courthouse is an option if you live within minutes of the courthouse or need face-to-face assurance on details regarding your case. The court clerk will give you a form to fill out, and they’ll search for the records with that information. You may pay a small fee for the services and for making copies. Some courthouses have public terminals for individuals to search their case records and only pay to make copies.
To find your court’s location, use this , and on your left-hand side, you’ll see a court locator section. Choose your county and court type and click find the court. You’ll immediately see the contact information for your court.
Let’s look at an illustration of what we’ve discussed so far.
Example: Scott had a $4,765 debt with Empire Collections. He had defaulted for one year after losing his job, but the collection agency did not believe his reason for defaulting. Instead, Empire Collections sent a lawsuit letter to his home. Scott looked for the court's location via the court locator on the New York judicial website and paid a visit to confirm the suit was legitimate. Afterward, he was advised to respond to the lawsuit and follow up on the case. After using SoloSuit to draft and file his Answer, Scott waited for a week and revisited the courthouse to check if the court had updated the document in the court’s records. He requested copies, and the clerk advised him to follow up remotely instead of visiting the courthouse.
Online access is the least stressful and easiest way to access your court records. The New York WebCivil eCourt Search Portal gives you four options for searching case records. To find your court case online, you will some or all of the following information:
Enter the required information and click search. If you do not have the index number, provide more information to refine the search. Use the following online portal if your case is in the Court of Appeals.
If you’re being sued for a debt, you can save the money and stress of finding an attorney and represent yourself with SoloSuit’s help.
Our software saves consumers who are being suedtime, money, and resources. Our documents help you deal with creditors in different stages of the collection process. These documents include a Debt Validation Letter, an Answer, a Motion to Compel Arbitration, and the SoloSettle tool. We also have abundant helpful resources you can use to win your debt collection lawsuit.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
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