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Federal Judge Certifies Class In ‘Sewer Service’ Suit Against NY Debt Collection Law Firm

Posted Sep 12, 2012 10:51 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A federal judge in Manhattan has certified a class that potentially includes thousands of plaintiffs in a lawsuit against consumer debt purchaser Leucadia National Corp. and a New York law firm, Mel S. Harris and Associates, that specializes in debt collection.

Alleging violations of not only the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the state's general business law but the federal Rackeeteer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the suit contends that the defendants used so-called sewer service as a means of obtaining default judgments against consumers who were not made aware of the litigation against them, reports Reuters.

Attorney Brad Scher represents the law firm and said it intends to appeal the certification ruling last week. The law firm earlier said in court filings that it had broken no laws and denied that it was involved in a conspiracy to defraud.

Leucadia declined to comment when contacted by the news agency.

The plaintiffs are represented by MFY Legal Services and the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project.

A previous ABAJournal.com post provides additional details about the suit:

Federal Judge OKs RICO Conspiracy Class Action Against Law Firm in ‘Sewer Service’ Case

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