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Good afternoon. Unfortunately, unless they are willing to give you a lien voluntarily, you must first sue them on the contract and get a judgment before you can put a lien on their property, attach their bank accounts, or garnish their wages. New York has a 6 year statute of limitations so you have plenty of time to file the suit and you should do so because it gives you so many more collection options. Because of the amount involved, you can't file this in small claims court, so I would suggest you get a lawyer to help file the suit. But, the suit is not complicated, so I would find a 1-2 year lawyer to help you with this to keep the costs down. Unless your contract provides for venue and jurisdiction to be in your location, the suit would need to be filed in the borrower's location, and you would have to appear for the hearing. But, once the suit is filed and ajudgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if the losing partydoesn't then pay the judgment, you can then have the sheriff serve a summons on thelosing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet thejudgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losingparty's assets. After that informationis obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, and/or have thesheriff seize other property to satisfythe judgment.
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i forgot to ask one more thing. They stopped paying approx. three or four years ago but out of the blue they sent a check for $100 last January. does the 6 year statute start form the last payment or when they originally defaulted on the loan. Also the fact that they sent a $100 check almost a year ago, does that help their case any? I just didn't understand why they would do that. how do you go about getting a 1-2 year lawyer?
Any payment starts the 6 year statute of limitations period over again...so that works in your favor since the 6 years is calculated based on their most recent payment.
Regarding your question on lawyers, under my terms of service withJustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can giveyou direction. You would want to either contact the NY state bar association orone of the NY law schools in the area for a referral. I prefer the latter because they takegreat pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in makingsure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school.
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