Consumer Debt Help for New York

NYC Consumer Self-Help Tools

Dealing with consumer debt?

It is natural to be unsure of what to do, but it is crucial to

  • understand the process
  • gather the right resources
  • take action!

This page has been designed to help you!

  • create important documents
  • find information on different consumer debt issues
  • find free legal help

Representing yourself in Consumer Court


This page also features the NYC Consumer Help Finder a project of the Consumer Legal Access Partners of New York.

Create a debt verification letter

Use this free program to write a letter if a debt collection agency is trying to collect money from you.

You cannot send this letter to an original creditor (for example, a bank that gave you a credit card).

How to answer a debt collection case

If you got a summons that says at the top the words: “CONSUMER CREDIT TRANSACTION,” then you or your lawyer must come to court to answer. An answer is what you tell the court about what the plaintiff said in the complaint. This resource from will tell you how to create and file your answer.

Note: This resource is for NYC residents only

Vacate a Default Judgment

If you have received notice of a default judgment, you can request that the court change the decision. 

This form will create a document that tells the court why you were not in court when the judgment was made. 

More information

Debt Collection Basics

Answers to FAQs about debt collection in NY.

Your Rights against Debt Collectors in NYC

Understand what debt collectors are and are not allowed to do. Note: NYC ONLY

Common Defenses

Understand what a defense is and which ones apply in your case. Note: NYC ONLY

Negotiating with Debt Collectors

Learn when you should consider negotiating a settlement.

Exempt Income

Debt collectors are not allowed to take certain kinds of income – learn about them here.

Frozen Bank Accounts

Understand why you cannot get money from your account and what you can do about it.

Default Judgments in NYC

Learn what to do if you never received notice that you were being sued. Note: NYC ONLY

Credit Reports and Credit Scores

Learn what a credit report is, why it is important, and how to get a copy of yours.

Have Other Questions about Consumer Debt?

Visit LawHelpNY's Consumer Debt section to learn more.

NYC Consumer Help Finder

You can submit an online application for help using the NYC Consumer Help Finder

nyc consumer help finder

You will receive advice and assistance from experienced legal professionals.

They will get back to you, saving you the time of calling multiple offices. 

The NYC Consumer Help Finder is a service of five NYC legal services providers:

  • City Bar Justice Center
  • CAMBA Legal Services
  • Mobilization for Justice
  • TakeRoot Justice
  • The Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham Law School. 

Go to a CLARO clinic for free legal help


Time: Thursday 3:00-6:00PM
Location: Bronx Supreme Court; 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, Room B128A, NY 10451


Time: Thursday 2:30-4:30PM and 6:00-8:00PM
Location: Kings County Civil Courthouse; 141 Livingston Street, Room 403, Brooklyn, NY 11201


Time: Thursday 6:00-8:00PM
Location: New York City Civil Courthouse; 111 Centre Street, Room 105, New York, NY 10013


Time: Friday 1:30-4:00PM
Location: Queens County Civil Courthouse; 89-17 Sutphin Blvd, Room 116, Queens, NY 11435

Staten Island

Time: Click to see dates and times.
Location: Richmond County Civil Courthouse; 927 Castledon Avenue, 2nd Floor, Staten Island, NY 10310


Time: Thursday 2:00-4:30PM
Location: Westchester County Courthouse; 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 1803, White Plains, NY 10601


Time: Tuesday 5:00-7:00PM
Location: BFNC Hope Center; 2495 Main Street, Suite 260, Buffalo, NY 14214

Not in NYC?

You can always find legal assistance on LawHelpNY.

If you live in Western New York, visit the Western New York consumer self-help tools.