The Langel Firm defends consumers against New York collection lawsuits brought by Mel S. Harris and Associates, LLC. In appropriate cases, we may also take action against Mel Harris on your behalf in federal court for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and New York's deceptive acts and practices statute.
Our client was sued at his mother's address where he had not lived in 20 years so naturally he suffered a default judgment. Our client had lived in California at all relevant times. LR Credit's lawyers, Mel S. Harris & Associates, LLC, froze his California bank account by serving a restraining notice at a New York Bank of America. Our firm reopened the case and compelled a voluntary discontinuance based on the overwhelming proof of lack of jurisdiction/service.
LR Credit 14, LLC v. Darrell B., 138875-07 (Queens County, Civil Court, 2011).
LR Credit 22, LLC, represented by Mel S. Harris, was sanctioned $1,000 plus attorneys' fees and costs for its bad-faith refusal to honor consumer's claim of exemptions. LR Credit 22, LLC v. Egglston, 37 Misc.3d 653, City Court, City of Jamestown (Aug. 2012).
LR Credit and Mel S. Harris sued our client in 2008 at an address where he had since moved. He defaulted as a result. Mel Harris froze his bank account. Panicked, our client gave Mel Harris some money to release his account then entered into a payment plan to pay off the rest. After 3 years of making payments, we re-opened the case, vacated the judgment, and forced Mel Harris to return ALL of his money. The court recognized that proper service of papers is a "threshold issue" notwithstanding three years of voluntary payments.
LR Credit, 17, LLC v. M.K. (Civil Court, New York County, 2011).
LR Credit 22, LLC had sued our client at his ex-wife's Patchougue address where he had never lived. Consequently, he suffered a default judgment and resultant bank restraint. Exchanging an exemption claim form with evidence disproving service, LR Credit and Mel S. Harris quickly agreed to release his bank account, vacate the judgment, and discontinue the action against him. We argued that a venue violation exposed them to countersuit. LR Credit 22, LLC v. T.A., 15740/11 (Supreme Court, Suffolk County).
We brought a federal action against attorneys for LR Credit, 22, LLC -- Mel S. Harris & Associates -- for its post-settlement letter that contained several misrepresentations. Despite being current on her settlement, the letter stated that her account was "significantly past due." The letter falsely asserted that she is a "homeowner" and that she could suffer a lien against it. The letter falsely asserted accruing interest when the debt had been settled without accruing interest. D.K. v. Mel S. Harris & Associates, LLC, 12-06754 (Southern District, New York).
In a case alleging that our client was sued twice for the same time-barred debt, we sued Mel S. Harris & Associates for bringing those action on behalf of LR Credit, LLC.
R.L. v. Mel S. Harris & Associates, LLC, 12, 6569 (Southern District, New York).
Mel S. Harris unsuccessful in persuading a federal court to dismiss a class action alleging that it unlawfully misrepresented creditor identity, and that it impermissibly added court costs to actions not yet reduced to judgment. Fritz v. Resurgent Capital Services, LP 2013 WL 3821479, (Eastern District, New York, 2013).
MEL S. HARRIS AND ASSOCIATES IN THE NEWS
Mel S. Harris & Associates, LLC sued in Class Action
In a case drawing national attention, this class action targets the practice of "sewer service" by accusing Mel Harris and associated individuals/companies in engaging in a "scheme to fraudulently obtain default judgments" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This case is important to our firm because it affirms the law that process servers can be prosecuted under the FDCPA, and the lawyers that blindly benefit from sewer service could be held responsible for its participation in the misconduct. Sykes v. Mel Harris and Associates, LLC (Class Action, Southern District, NY 2009).
A case captioned Bowens v. LR Credit 10, LLC, 07-civ-459, in the Western District of New York was actually decided
against the consumer, two core issues in this heavily litigated case: 1) Can process servers be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? and 2) Can the attorneys who engage them be vicariously liable (responsible) for their conduct?
The court answered yes to both questions, finding that:
- The act of perjuring an affidavit of service removes the general FDCPA exemption applicable to process servers; and
- Lawyers can be held responsible for process servers if they knew the affidavit(s) of service were highly likely to be false.
Though Mr. Bowens did not identify which specific provisions of the FDCPA were violated, the court inferred that he alleged the judicial interpretation that the "falsification of an affidavit of service violates the FDCPA." (See
Coble v. Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP, 11 civ 1037, S.D.N.Y. Oct. 31, 2011).
Another important holding of this case (citing the NY appellate division): "New York law supports a claim of abuse of process where defendants fraudulently served process on a debtor to obtain a default judgment." See Phillipe v. American Exp. Travel Related Servs. Co., 174 A.D.2d 470, 571 N.Y.S.2d 711 N.Y.App. Div.1991).
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ABOUT MEL S. HARRIS & ASSOCIATES, LLC
Mel S. Harris and Associates, LLC is a New York domestic limited liability company with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Mel S. Harris represents the following LR Credit entities:
- LR Credit, LLC
- LR Credit 1, LLC
- LR Credit 2, LLC
- LR Credit 3, LLC
- LR Credit 4, LLC
- LR Credit 5, LLC
- LR Credit 6, LLC
- LR Credit 7, LLC
- LR Credit 8, LLC
- LR Credit 9, LLC
- LR Credit 10, LLC
- LR Credit 11, LLC
- LR Credit 12, LLC
- LR Credit 13, LLC
- LR Credit 14, LLC
- LR Credit 15, LLC
- LR Credit 16, LLC
- LR Credit 17, LLC
- LR Credit 18, LLC
- LR Credit 19, LLC
- LR Credit 20, LLC
- LR Credit 21, LLC
- LR Credit 22, LLC
- LR Credit 23, LLC