Think Twice Before Putting a Stop Payment on a Check

A person holding a checkbook to illustrate a stop payment on a check.Business owners might think if the work done by an independent contractor or vendor was insufficient, they can issue a stop payment order on the check with their bank as a solution.

While business owners may think issuing a stop payment only hurts the contractor, third-parties may also suffer unintended consequences. When impacted, third parties may seek restitution against the contractor as well as the business owner.

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Don’t Count on a Default Judgment to Win Your Debt Collection Case

Chart showing the increase in debt collection cases versus default judgments.
Image via the Wall Street Journal.

If you are counting on the fact your debtor won’t show and you will win your New York Debt collection case on a default judgment, don’t. The number of default judgments awarded in New York debt collection cases is declining.

Based on statistics reported in the Wall Street Journal, the number of New York City debt filings has more than doubled based on figures reported in 2018. The last time filings were this high was 2012. While the number of debt collection suits are increasing, the number of default judgments are not rising in proportion. Bottom line, more New York debt collection filings are being defended.

You need to think ahead and make sure you are represented by competent counsel. You should not expect to win your debt collection case by default because the debtor does not show up to contest the case. An attorney who understands the nuances of debt collection will be able to bring the disputed case to judgment.

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How to Protect Yourself From Debt Collection Scams

Signs reading "scam" to show the startling nature of debt collection scams.Unfortunately, debt collection scams are becoming more commonplace. Any imposter can try to collect a debt that might not be due. Some scammers are even targeting debt collection attorneys. How can you tell if you received a call or letter from a real debt collector?

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) recently warned of taxpayers receiving debt collection scam letters from the Internal Revenue Service. All too often these letters claim to be from the so-called “Bureau of Tax Enforcement,” when in fact there is no such agency. Others claim a warrant has been issued to confuse and trick unsuspecting taxpayers into handing over their hard-earned cash, tax return, or even their cryptocurrency.

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Why TIN and SSN Are Important in Debt Collection

Photo of a woman's hand filing out a form to show the importance of TIN in debt collection.Make sure you obtain your customer’s taxpayer identification number (TIN) and social security number (SSN) when doing business with them. Having their TIN and SSN can help you in your New York debt collection efforts.

If you are working with individuals as guarantors, or in another capacity, be sure to secure their social security number. This will expedite satisfying the requirement of an investigation pursuant to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA).

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