Process Servers: Know Your Rights

If a creditor decides to bring a lawsuit against you to try to collect a debt, it will typically hire a law firm to bring the lawsuit.  Legal process servers are hired by law firms to serve legal papers which notify individuals that they are being sued.

New York law makes clear how the legal documents that start a lawsuit must be served on anyone being sued.  A process server can:

  • Deliver the summons directly to the person being sued; or
  • Deliver the summons to a substitute person of suitable age and discretion at the place of business or the home of the person being sued and then mail the summons; or
  • If several attempts at the first two options fail, the process server can post the summons on the door of the home or workplace of the person being sued and mail it as well.

What Should You Do If You Are Served With a Legal Papers

If you are served with legal papers, it is important that you respond, even if you do not believe that you owe any money.  If you fail to respond, the court will eventually enter a default judgment against you and the creditor may be able to freeze your bank account or garnish your wages. 

What Should You Do If You Have Default Judgment Entered Against You?

In order to remove or “vacate” a Default Judgment that has been entered against you, New York law requires that you make an application to the court that entered the judgment.  To assist you with this application, you should consult an attorney.

In recent years, the Office of the Attorney General has uncovered fraudulent practices by certain process service companies who claim that they have provided documents to individuals when, in fact, they never did so.