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Thu May 30, 2019, 09:07 PM

Need some legal opinions.

My grown son (25) is being taken to small claims court to settle a $6900 rental problem (2016). He and a friend apparently moved out with out notice. Without going into too many details about his behavior, he works a menial painting job (seasonal), owns nothing and has no bank account. Last year he earned around 8K plus around 3K unemployment. Right now he lives with me (my wife passed away 2 years ago). I'm retired. I take care of most living expenses, car, insurance, phone etc. He has Medicaid. He is not my dependent. We received a letter offering mediation. My son said the friend also named is ignoring all this and is probably moving out of state. We're in NY. What could they possibly settle on ? I checked the garnish law here in NY and at his income level it could take around 17 years to get half the money out of him. If the landlord took the 6K as a business loss, could he still come after my son and his friend? Even if he settled somehow, he'd still have a zero credit score because of an unpaid 14K emergency room visit several years ago.

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Reply Need some legal opinions. (Original post)
rickford66 May 2019 OP
bitterross May 2019 #1
rickford66 May 2019 #2
emmaverybo May 2019 #3
PBC_Democrat May 2019 #4
rickford66 May 2019 #5

Response to rickford66 (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 09:13 PM

1. Talk to a real lawyer. There are pro-bono ones

In every community there are attorneys who will talk to people in your son's financial situation for nothing. You just need to google for them.

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Response to bitterross (Reply #1)

Thu May 30, 2019, 09:16 PM

2. Just asking about other's experiences.

Sorry

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #2)

Thu May 30, 2019, 10:11 PM

3. Don't be sorry. You can google some version of the question and might hit a forum or a

legal advice site that answers some part of it. Be sure to preface the google with State you are in.
Quora is also a good asking place. I have had good success with googling on legal problems to at least get some idea. And Quora can be quite good.
I am wishing you answers and blessings for looking out for your son.
Also, if you have a tenantís union, can be very helpful.
Many lawyers will give a half hour free consult.
You should have a legal aid organization too.

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Response to rickford66 (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 10:14 PM

4. I am NOT a lawyer, but ...

... a quick Google search shows that the max you can sue for in small claims court in NYS is $5000 and it may be as low as $3000 based on where you live.

His friend moving out of state will only get a temporary reprieve. If the landlord decides to pursue it, he'll win a default judgement. If the friend is ever employed again in NYS the debt will come back to life, possibly with interest and collection charges.

Taking the $6900 as a business loss is an accounting function and has nothing to do with their ability to continue collection efforts. They'll just have to show it in the accounting if they are able to eventually collect.

Not that it's any of my business but I see several other problems in this post:
Your son signed a lease, a legal contract, - why does he think it's okay to not fulfill the terms he agreed to?
He's 25 and only earning ~$8000 as a seasonal painter - it's past time to get a marketable skill and start being an adult and either earning, or preparing to earn, a living.
Why did you allow him to live with you after he walked out on a contract? At this point are you enabling him to avoid becoming an adult?
The unpaid medical is unfortunate but can be dealt with by working with the hospital - that will help his credit rating at least a little bit.

My unsolicited advice -- Tell your son to honor his word (contracts), pay his bills, move out of Daddy's house, figure out to support himself and, eventually, a family.

Again, I AM NOT A LAWYER, and I didn't mean to offend.

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Response to PBC_Democrat (Reply #4)

Thu May 30, 2019, 10:48 PM

5. I'll try to address some of your questions.

My son was adopted. he was born a drug baby and came to us at 2 days old. He does have problems with certain decisions and is careless with money and his own possessions. He lived with his friend who is much wiser and cleverer at a few different places. He did have a few steadier minimum wage jobs but with no way to get more educated, he will continue as he is now. He barely got out of High School. I didn't know he walked out of his lease. I didn't even know he had a lease. Some places he lived in were month to month. Several years ago he had an accident on someone's dirt bike. He got a bill for the ambulance and the attending doctor. We helped him negotiate lower charges and payments. He did pay that off and then a year later we got the unexpected ER bill for 14K. He was in the ER for 3 hours. We did try to negotiate this and were in contact with the lawyers. They must have finally dropped it because we never hear from them after a while. The woman handling the case said she would try her best and would be in touch. This accident happened during the short time between his NY Child insurance and the ACA. He got the ACA and then was on my insurance when I went back to work for a couple years at 68 years old. Now he's on Medicaid. He seems normal to everyone and works hard when he has work. He's an adult so there's some things I have no control over, but as long he's at home with me I have some influence. He will never be able to live on his own and make a living. He has no concept of tomorrow. My late wife and I had our wills done quite some time ago to put our estate into a trust with my two nieces controlling it. And then, when whatever money I leave runs out I imagine he'll end up on skid row. My plan now is to sell my home and property and move into and adult apartment complex. I'm working on cleaning out the place, making repairs, selling what I can. He will be on his own then.

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