When You Owe Money (Debtor)

You can owe money many different ways. You might have gone to a hospital and not paid your bill. You might owe money on a loan from a bank. You may owe money on a credit card or owe money on a loan from a friend or relative. You may owe money for rent, back taxes, child support, or traffic tickets. When you owe money, the person or company that you owe money to (the creditor) may start a case against you in a court or administrative agency. This section has information about what to do if you have been served with a Summons and Complaint for money that is owed.

If you owe money for child support or maintenance, go to Families & Children for additional information. If you owe money for rent or your mortgage, go to Homes & Eviction for additional information. If you are being sued in Small Claims Court, go to Small Claims for additional information.

This website has information for people with cases in the New York State Courts. So, if your case is in an administrative agency, like the Department of Environmental Control, or the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, visit that administrative agency’s website. If you owe money to the IRS for taxes, go to Collection Procedures for Taxpayers for information. If you owe money and want to learn about bankruptcy go to Bankruptcy Court.

If a case has not been started yet, go to LawHelp for legal information and referral for legal assistance. For information about ways to manage your money or what to do if you get a collection letter or phone call from a debt collector visit LawHelp or read this Guide to Debt Collection.

If you got a summons suing you for money go to You Got a Summons to learn what to do next.

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