New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney
Cutting-Edge Legal Representation Manageable Fee Structures

We Defend You Against
Elite Recovery Services, Inc.

The Langel firm defends consumers against New York state court collection lawsuits brought by Elite Recovery Services, Inc. In appropriate cases, we may also take action against Elite Recovery Services, Inc. for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and other applicable laws.

Default judgment by Elite recovery affirmed due to consumer's failure to act quickly enough

The Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County, denied a defendant's order to show cause to vacate his default in Elite Recovery Services, Inc. v. Helrich (Civ. Ct. Richmond County 2011).

Plaintiff Elite Recovery Services, Inc., as assignee of Capital One, sued the defendant consumer, alleging that defendant owed money pursuant to a credit card agreement. When the defendant defaulted in appearing and answering, Elite Recovery entered judgment by default in 2008, and had the marshal serve an income execution on defendant's employer in June 2009. The defendant then moved to vacate his default. He alleged that he was never served and first learned of the litigation through the income execution, and claimed it was not his debt.

Because the defendant consumer was unrepresented by counsel, the court afforded the defendant a liberal interpretation of a statutory reading concerning the vacating of the default. The defendant was allegedly served by substituted service (delivery to a person of suitable age and discretion), and was thus entitled to bring the motion to vacate the default within one year of his learning of the judgment. However, the court found that defendant failed to do so because his time to move to vacate the judgment was triggered from the date of the first wage execution.

The court further found that the defendant failed to establish a meritorious defense to the action. Merely asserting that the debt was not his did not suffice as a reasonable excuse, particularly in light of the fact that he knowingly permitted money to be taken from his pay check every pay period.

3 Takeaways from Elite Recovery Services, Inc. v. Helrich:

  1. Timeliness is Critical: The court denied the defendant's motion to vacate his default because he failed to act within the statutory timeframe. The clock started ticking from the date of the first wage execution, not from when the defendant claimed to have become aware of the judgment.

  2. Mere Denial of Debt is Insufficient: The court found the defendant's defense, which merely asserted that the debt was not his, to be insufficient. To establish a meritorious defense, more substantial evidence or argument is needed.

  3. Knowledge of Wage Garnishment Matters: The fact that the defendant knowingly allowed money to be deducted from his paycheck every pay period undermined his claim that he was unaware of the debt, further weakening his defense.

District Court of Connecticut Finds Consumer's FDCPA Allegations against Elite Recovery Services, Inc. Contain Sufficient Detail

In Zuppe v. Elite Recovery Services, Inc. (D. Conn. 2006), a plaintiff consumer sued Elite Recovery Services, Inc. for violating the FDCPA and various Connecticut statutes. Elite Recovery contacted the plaintiff on numerous occasions throughout the course of a year in regard to an alleged debt that plaintiff claimed she already paid. The plaintiff alleged that Elite Recovery represented that her failure to pay the debt would result in the loss of her home or litigation to collect on the debt.

Elite Recovery made a motion for a more definite statement as to the allegations in the plaintiff's complaint, arguing that it could not respond to the complaint because it was too vague and ambiguous. However, the court found that the allegations in the plaintiff's complaint were clear and detailed, specifying exactly which statutes and regulations were violated by Elite Recovery. The plaintiff alleged that violations included: engaging plaintiff to partake in repeated telephone conversations with intent to annoy, abuse and harass, making phone calls without disclosing the identity of the caller, misleading the plaintiff by claiming her home would be seized and that she would be sued, and initiating communication with plaintiff after receipt of a written cease communication request.

Because the allegations contained sufficient details in regard to the actions, dates and circumstances alleged, the court found that Elite Recovery was fairly apprised of the claims against it.

3 Takeaways from Zuppe v. Elite Recovery Services, Inc.:

  1. Detailed Complaints: The court highlighted the necessity of detailed complaints, showing the importance of precise information about alleged violations.

  2. Statutory Violations Identification: Pointing out specific statutes and regulations allegedly violated strengthens the legal foundation of a claim.

  3. Harassment Consequences: Accusations of harassment, misrepresentation, and ignoring a cease communication can lead to serious FDCPA and state law violations, underlining the potential repercussions for debt collection agencies.

Elite Recovery Services, Inc. wins lawsuit alleging that it engaged in deceptive business practices

In Pescatrice v. Elite Recovery Services, Inc. (S.D. Fla. 2007), the district court granted Elite Recovery's motion for summary judgment against a plaintiff consumer.

Elite Recovery attempted to collect a debt that the plaintiff allegedly owed by sending a collection letter to the plaintiff. The letter requested payment of the sum to "Elite Recovery Services, Inc." with a Buffalo, New York post office box address. On the top of the letter, the company name was listed as "ERS." The plaintiff consumer alleged that, because Elite Recovery did not disclose its post office box address and the "ERS" name in its state of Florida registration, its attempt to collect the debt constituted a deceptive means of collection under the FDCPA.

However, the court found that Elite Recovery did properly register as a collection agency. Under Florida law, current identification is required with regard to name, address and business location. Here, the allegation was only that Elite Recovery did not include its post office box or abbreviation of its name in its registration. The use of a post office box for the mailing of payments, as opposed to its business location address, did not make other information "not current." Further, the use of "ERS" would not mislead the least sophisticated consumer, particularly because the full name was used elsewhere in the letter. The court thus held that use of a post office box for the mailing of payments and the use of the abbreviation did not constitute deceptive means to collect a debt.

3 Takeaways from Pescatrice v. Elite Recovery Services, Inc.:

  1. Legal Identity: The use of different names or abbreviations by a collection agency doesn't necessarily constitute deception if the full name is clearly stated elsewhere.

  2. Address Disclosure: Use of a PO Box for payment mailing doesn't render a company's provided address information "not current" under Florida law.

  3. Least Sophisticated Consumer Standard: Legal determinations often consider whether actions would mislead the least sophisticated consumer, emphasizing the importance of clear and accurate communication in debt collection.

Elite Recovery Services, Inc. Biographical Information

Elite Recovery Services, Inc. is a domestic business corporation incorporated in New York and is principally located at 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Second Floor, Suite 15, Buffalo, New York, 14207. It is not licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs to collect debts in the City of New York. For more information concerning suits brought in New York by debt collectors who are not licensed in the City of New York, please see