Class Action Lawsuit Against Debt Collectors

More than 100,000 New Yorkers now can fight back in court against against debt collectors.  Federal Judge Denny Chinn granted class action status in a lawsuit brought by the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), MFY Legal Services and Emery Celli Brinkerhoff & Abady.

The lawsuit claims that a law firm, a debt buying company, a processing company and others fraudulently won judgements against consumers in state court through a robot-signing type scheme.

The lawsuit charges that these companies bought up debt and engaged in “sewer service.”

They allegedly routinely failed to properly notify people that they owed money needed to appear at court hearings to defend themselves   Consequently, when the debt collectors went to court the consumers didn’t show up and judges ruled against them.

Susan Shin, a lawyer with NEDAP says,  “These abusive debt collection practices have devastating consequences for low income New Yorkers and communities.” The lawsuit names Mel Harris and Associates, LLC, one of New York’s largest debt collecting firms, and Samserv, Inc., a processing company, and Leucadia National Corporation a public company that buys debt for pennies on the dollar.

Watch Susan Shin’s video blog on and learn about your rights against debt collectors.

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.