Can My Non-Paying Customer Set Aside My New York Debt Collection Judgment?

Photo of New York CityYou have a New York debt collection judgment. Forced to sue, the customer didn’t defend. They ignored the lawsuit. Your New York debt collection judgment includes legal interest and a return of costs.

Now that you have the judgment, collection should be relatively straightforward. Your knowledge of the client’s business and assets will ensure recovery.

But before, during or after execution, your customer is trying to set aside the judgment. How can your customer have the chance to set aside, vacate your judgment at the 11th hour? Didn’t they miss the boat?

For purposes of a default New York Debt Collection Judgment, your customer may have one more bite at the apple and set aside the New York Debt Collection Default Judgment if they meet both requirements.

In order for a party to vacate a judgment, the customer must prove that they have:

1) a meritorious defense and

2) excusable default.

(If the party seeking to set aside the judgment after more than one year after entry they must also explain the reason for delay.)

What is excusable default? It’s an excuse for the customer not responding to the summons and complaint or other pleading. For example, it could be that the party was not properly served with the summons and complaint or other papers in the action or, perhaps the law office representing the non-paying customer failed to act on the client’s behalf (law office failure).

What is a Meritorious Defense? For purposes of seeking to set aside the judgment a meritorious defense could be an allegation that the monies are not owed. The claim need not be supported by proof at this time rather just allegations set forth in an Affidavit of the customer looking to vacate the judgment. Their proof comes later. (Of course, you can oppose the request to vacate the judgment and attach proof that the monies are in fact owed to support your request that the judgment remain in effect.

Is there a way to avoid having your New York Debt Collection Judgment vacated?


Make sure your New York Debt Collection Attorney uses a good process server to ensure that the customer is in fact served with the underlying papers of the case.

Comply with requirements to mail copies of the summons and complaints and other papers to the customer properly. This will illustrate to the Court that the Customer had ample notice of the pending lawsuit.

Have your credit and collection file intact with the necessary documents to prove your case so you are ready to support your claim and oppose any request to vacate your New York Debt Collection Judgment.

Has a New York Debt Collection Judgment been entered in your favor or against you? For more information about enforcement or to place a claim for collection. Contact FFGN by email or call 212-686-0100 ext. 12.