Hounded by collection agencies and credit card companies ?


...You get letters and phone calls

  1. Keep the letters, keep the letters, and keep the letters. Keep the envelopes, too, for the cancellation stamp.
  2. If you do not agree the debt is yours, disagree about the amount, or do not recognize the alleged creditor, consider sending a Debt Validation letter by certified mail. Make sure you do this within 30 days of getting the first letter. This triggers certain federal rights.
  3. Don't be afraid when receiving certified mail. If someone is sending you a certified letter, it is better to get it than not.
  4. Keep track of all phone calls. Start a collection communications log like this one recommended by noted consumer attorney Pete Barry.
  5. Consider recording the phone calls you get or make to collection agents. You can follow Pete Barry's tips or get an account at www.tel-biz.com.
  6. If you talk to a collection agent, be firm but polite. Remind them that you dispute the debt and need validation of the debt. If they threaten you, stay cool, get them to repeat it, write it down. Ask the agent for his or her name.

...You get sued

Dont ignore a summons. In New York State, your time to answer a summons runs from 10 to 30 days, depending on the court or method of service. Make a copy and call us or the lawyer or your choice.

...You receive an arbitration claim

Many lenders have added arbitration clauses in their credit card agreements. Arbitration essentially takes the matter out of the court and into the hands of a private adjudicator, such as the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, or the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). The claims will come from a lawyer or the creditor and look like a summons or complaint. If you get a Notice of Arbitration, please call us or the lawyer of your choice. Quickly! These for-profit arbitration outfits have, in our opinion, quirky procedural rules that a consumer can easily trip over. Our experience says you must act quickly to preserve your rights in an arbitration, or to stop the arbitration process if need be.

...You discover a judgment has been entered against you

If you find your bank account has been restrained, chances are there is already a judgment entered against you. There are provisions in New York State law to vacate a judgment. Wed welcome the chance to discuss it with you.

Reasonable fees.

Evening and weekend hours.

Make an appointment online.

Anthony J. Pietrafesa
Attorney at Law
1971 Western Avenue #181
Albany NY 12203
Fax: 518.514.1241

Admitted in New York
Member National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)