ECBA, along with the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP) and MFY Legal Services, Inc., won a significant victory against major debt collection agencies in a suit alleging fraudulent debt collection practices. These practices include “sewer service”, where a debt collector files a false affidavit with the court claiming they served someone with a legal complaint. When the person does not show for court, the debt collector obtains a judgment against them and targets the individual for payment. In a published opinion, Sykes et al. v. Mel Harris and Associates, LLC, et al., __ F. Supp. 2d. __ 2010 WL 539571 (S.D.N.Y 2010), denying in part the debt collectors motion to dismiss, Judge Denny Chin held that the complaint alleged valid claims under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, civil RICO, and New York state law. ECBA attorneys Matthew D. Brinckerhoff and Eisha Jain represent plaintiffs in this litigation.
A New York Times article discussing the Complaint can be found here.