Need Lawyer to Enforce Promissory Note?

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Latest post Fri, Nov 12 2010 11:28 AM by Michael D. Siegel. 4 replies.
  • Mon, Nov 8 2010 4:05 PM

    • MamaMary
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Nov 8 2010
    • NY
    • Posts 2

    Need Lawyer to Enforce Promissory Note?

    Daughter met boyfriend in 2007 – in April 2008 he became car-less, so I offered him a place in my home 5 days a week, so he could get to his job which was nearby. I basically ‘adopted’ this charming, respectful guy from a Mom perspective.

    March/2009, he asked for help buying a used car. Turns out his credit wasn't good enough,so I ended up helping, which turned into it being my car ($300+/m) alone, along with HUGE ins cost $500+/m). He signed a clear 4 pg NOTARIZED promissory note, made payments from March to June, then quickly fell behind. He started commuting home again. August was his last payment (still $500 in arrears). Was fired from job 8/31,  I lent him debit card for gas money & ez-pass with many promises that he would return $ as soon as he got another job.I continued to pay the $800+ so my credit wouldn't go bust, but I could not do it for long.

    The promissory note even had the intent of the note spelled out:(exerpt)

    Collection Fees-In the event of default this Note may be turned over for collection and the Borrower agrees to pay all reasonable legal fees, collection and enforcement charges to the extent permissible by law, in addition to other amounts due.

    Borrower's Waiver-The Borrower waives demand and presentment for payment, notice of non-payment, off-set, protest and notice of protest and agrees to remain fully bound until this Note is paid in full.

    History & Intent of this Note: -The Borrower was unable to secure either financing or auto insurance personally for the purchase of a 2007 xxx xxx, (VIN xxxxxxxx).  Lender #1 signed for both Bank Loan and Comprehensive Auto Insurance for above vehicle. This Note shall serve as the bridge promissory document between the intended future owner (Borrower – xxxxxx) and the current owner of record (Lender #1 – xxxx).

    Lender #1 is disabled, has no current NYS Divers License (clean record), cannot currently drive a vehicle, and has no personal need for automobile insurance.

    At the completion of Borrower’s required Bank payments, upon notice from Bank that said payments have been completed and Lien removed, and with no missed Bank Lender/ Insurance Provider payments due Lender #1, ownership of above vehicle shall immediately and legally pass from Lender #1 to Borrower….

    ….It is Lender #1’s Intent to assist Borrower in obtaining and owning above-named vehicle. Therefore, if this instrument is executed as both parties intend on this date, this will be a net zero dollar gain or loss transaction for Lender #1.


    On 11/1, HE TOTALLED THE CAR. The insurance would not cover the bank car loan, as he had taken me to shyster used car dealer to begin with. My credit score went from 690 on 3/2009 to 550 on 5/2010. He effectively disappeared until Christmas 2009, when he conned me out of some more money with promises of a quick repayment, which I have on my cell phone texts. 


    Between the car payments, car insurance payments, amounts he borrowed from my debit card account, ez-pass use (+ refusal to return my debit card, ez-pass, or electronic equipment) –( not counting $ cash, monthly diabetes medications, etc. ), he owes me at least $8,000+.  I am disabled, and his non-payment damaged my credit  to the extent of costing me the purchase of a house in May of 2010. I am on a reasonable fixed disability income & ill equipped to take on his payments. I am now in the position of not being able to keep up with my bills, with creditors chasing ME.

    It will take me years to catch up if I do not recover from him. He has a great job or two now, and I really want to get as much of my money back as I can. How on earth do I find a good attorney willing to pick up a case like this on LI for a contingency fee?

  • Mon, Nov 8 2010 4:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Need Lawyer to Enforce Promissory Note?

    How on earth do I find a good attorney willing to pick up a case like this on LI for a contingency fee?

    You don't. It's not going to happen. No lawyer will take that on a contingency because (although winning will be easy) the chance of ever collecting a nickel from a deadbeat are virtually zero.

    NY small claims limit is $5000. You can sue for that without a lawyer and you'll probably win but never be able to collect.

    If you want to sue for the full amount you'll have to pay a lawyer up front and, even if you are awarded attorney fees, you won't have any better chance of collecting them than you would have collecting the judgment.

    Sorry if all that seems harsh, but you had no business getting into any of that with your daughter's boyfriend. Period.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Nov 10 2010 9:44 AM In reply to

    to Drew

    I deleted your post because it was mean, with personally disparaging remarks.

    You don't get to talk to people that way.  You've gotten 'way, 'way too comfortable here and seem to think you're talking to friends or relatives.  You're not.  You're coming to strangers who are in a bit of a bad way, including emotionally, and don't need your supposed witticisms which do nothing but mock them, ask questions that are none of our business, and attempt to make them look foolish.  STOP IT.

    If your posts disappear, know why.  I've just told you.

  • Fri, Nov 12 2010 11:28 AM In reply to

    Re: to Drew

    No one is going to take an $8000 case on contingency.  On Long Island, you can sue in District Court.  A lawyer will charge a modest fee, or you can go to the District Court and ask the clerk to show you a collection complaint.  See if you can do it yourself.  If not, you are going to have to pay a lawyer, or forget about this matter.

    Michael D. Siegel, Esq.

    Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

    One Penn Plaza

    New York, New York 10119

    Phone: 212-721-5300



    Serving the metro New York area, including New Jersey

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