What we do:

Simple: people owe you money; they don’t pay you; we get the money from them using the special tools we have as lawyers.

Who we are:

Melvin & Melvin is one of the leading firms in New York State for debt collection. Last year alone, we collected literally millions of dollars for our clients.

Who we represent:

Banks, credit unions, hospitals, medical and dental practices, finance companies, insurance companies, and diverse regional and national businesses.

What kind of cases we handle:

Indirect car loans, direct car loans, personal loans, deficiency claims, credit cards, lines of credit, sales and installment sales of goods and services, and patient balances of hospital, medical and dental charges.

We handle both consumer/retail cases and business/commercial claims.

 Where we work:

All of Upstate New York. On the bottom of this page we have listed the names of the fifty four counties where we practice.

We also represent secured and unsecured creditors in a wide variety of bankruptcy matters in the Northern and Western Districts of New York.

What we charge:

Our fees accrue on a contingency basis, which means you only pay us for the money we actually bring in. Our contingency rates are very competitive and vary depending on the types of accounts and the number of cases we receive from a particular client. Reimbursement for expenses is deducted from collections revenues or billed monthly.

How accounts are sent to us:

Many of our clients send cases to us directly. For other clients we work through forwarders or collection agencies. In any case, accounts can be sent to us through email, electronic data interchange (EDI), USPS, or other electronic or hard-copy medium.

Why you should hire a lawyer to collect your accounts:

Many of our clients have their own receivables department, and/or they retain the services of a collection agency or forwarder. For the most part, they can collect their receivables successfully with one or both of those methods.

However, every creditor has a number of accounts that for some reason are not paid no matter how much effort and energy are expended.

It is primarily for those accounts that won’t pay voluntarily that you need a lawyer.

The most important thing that a lawyer can do for you is enter a judgment against the person who owes you the money. A judgment is a binding, legally enforceable determination of a Court that your customer owes you a particular amount of money.

After a judgment is entered, the customer can no longer dispute the amount of the debt, nor claim that he does not owe it.

A judgment gives the creditor’s lawyer very important enforcement power, including the right to issue subpoenas and executions (see below).

A judgment can last a lifetime and more.  It is enforceable for twenty years, and can be renewed for an additional twenty years. On the other hand, the statute of limitations for most contractual claims is only six years in New York. Accordingly, after a judgment is entered the time within which your claim is viable is extended dramatically.

A judgment can be filed only as the result of a lawsuit. A corporation or limited liability company cannot represent itself in Court nor file a lawsuit, it must be represented in Court by an attorney (other than the very limited circumstances of Small Claims Court).

What the lawyer does after a judgment has been entered:

In many cases, our clients know the employment of the people who owe them money. In those cases we file an income execution as soon as possible after a judgment has been entered. The income execution requires the debtor to pay to the sheriff 10% of his earnings (subject to certain minimum income requirements). If the debtor ignores the execution then the execution will be served on his employer and the employer will deduct the 10% payments from the debtor’s wages or salary.

What if you don’t know if or where the debtor is employed? After a judgment is entered, we have authority to issue subpoenas requiring the judgment debtor, or almost anyone else, to reveal the existence of employment, money or other assets which the judgment debtor might have or own. We routinely issue subpoenas to judgment debtors to find out where they work and what they own.

If the judgment debtor or other person does not answer the subpoena, then we will file a contempt proceeding to get an order from the Court requiring that person to answer.

If that person does not comply with the Court’s contempt order, then we will apply for a warrant of arrest. The warrant of arrest will be delivered to the sheriff and the sheriff will arrest the person and bring him to the Court. The judge will then require that person to remain in the Courthouse until he has answered all the questions that were required under the subpoena that he disregarded.

After we discover what money or other assets the debtor has, we will file a property execution and the sheriff will seize that property and sell it at a public auction.

The filing of the judgment in the County Clerk’s office creates a lien on any  land, house, or other building that the debtor owns in that county. That lien is enforceable for ten years and can be renewed for an additional ten years. Once the judgment lien has attached to his land the debtor cannot sell it (or the house or other building on it) free and clear until that lien is paid in full.

Call us now for help:

You should not have to chase people to get the money they owe you. Your money is locked up in those difficult accounts that won’t pay you. Don’t give up on them. Let us help.

Contact the attorneys and paralegals in our collections department by calling 315-671-6140, or by emailing [email protected].


Counties that we cover:

Albany, Allegheny, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rennselaer, Rockland, St. Lawrence, Sarataga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben
Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates