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Pressler & Pressler, LLP is a law firm specializing in third-party debt collection and litigation based in New Jersey. Pressler has received many consumer complaints alleging serious violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), including attempting to collect debts not owed and misrepresentation. If you have been contacted by Pressler & Pressler, be sure you understand your rights before taking action.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Pressler & Pressler, LLP was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Parsippany, NJ. The BBB did not establish a profile page for Pressler until 2003. Buzzfile estimates Pressler’s annual revenue at $35.9 million and the size of its staff at 250 people.
Pressler is managed by Sheldon Pressler, a 25-year appointee to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Rules Committee for the Special Civil Part, which has jurisdiction of up to $15,000 inmost retail collection matters. He has delivered lectures for the New Jersey Institute for Legal Education, including, “How to Collect a Judgement,” “Collection Practice,” and “The FDCPA.” He is currently counsel for the New Jersey unit of the American Collection Association (ACA) and serves as President of the New Jersey Creditors Bar Association of the State of New Jersey.
Pressler & Pressler’s headquarters office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that enables complete online access and verification of all real estate, lots, blocks, addresses, and assessments with new claims. Programmers assist with immediate transfer of new claims and constant online availability of claim status.
Pressler&Pressler represents the interests of national credit card companies and “is very active in maintaining, supporting and opposing new legislation which affects the collection industry… [including efforts] rolling back the costs for docketing New Jersey judgments from a fee of $25.00 to a more reasonable fee of $5.00 [now $10.00].” Pressler’s “300 employees and 19 attorneys…[provide] a total retail collection environment including skip-tracing and asset location.”
As of September 2017, the BBB has closed 19 complaints against Pressler & Pressler dating back three years, with 8 of them closed in the past twelve months. Almost all of the complaints allege problems with billing and collections. The BBB has posted a special notice advising consumers that the BBB has been contacted regarding Pressler & Pressler’s repeated filing of litigation seeking judgments for unverified debts. Furthermore, the BBB has posted a Notice of Government Action taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against Pressler & Pressler in April 2016 for Pressler’s part in “delivering allegedly unfair and deceptive debt collection lawsuits based on weak or nonexistent evidence.” Since March 2015, the CFPB has logged 116 complaints against Pressler & Pressler for various alleged violations of the FDCPA. Justia lists at least 12 cases of civil litigation naming Pressler as a defendant.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Pressler & Pressler LLP
In April 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Consent Order regarding the debt collection efforts of Pressler & Pressler, LLP; Sheldon H. Pressler; and Gerald J. Felt, “including filing lawsuits against [c]onsumers” in violation of the FDCPA and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). Following is a brief summary of the illegal activity cited in the Consent Order:
- Pressler attorneys filed more than 500,000 lawsuits against consumers between 2009 and 2014.
- The complaints “bore the names and signatures of attorneys who had not reviewed [o]riginal [a]ccount-[l]evel [d]ocumentation prior to making the decision to initiate the lawsuits or in the preparation of the pleadings.”
- Pressler attorneys’ litigation activities relied on non-attorney support staff and a proprietary collection software system that automated the review process.
- Accounts were placed for collection using “You Got Claims” software and were in the form of Excel spreadsheets or text files that contained limited information.
- This summary data was used to notify consumers of alleged debts, which if unanswered, were processed by non-attorney staff for letter campaigns indicating pre-litigation.
- If these letters went unanswered, a second group of non-attorney staff prepared and submitted pre-approved summons and complaint forms using information exclusively from the distillation of summary data initially distributed as Excel spreadsheets.
- These summons and complaint forms were then reviewed by “signing attorneys” who spent less than 30 seconds to only a few minutes verifying information.
- Neither the signing attorneys nor non-attorney staff had any access to original account-level documentation.
- Lawsuits were filed on behalf of debt buyers who could not support collection activities with documentation.
These automated, assembly-line, mass-production litigation tactics were found to have violated the FDCPA’s and the CFPA’s prohibitions against using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt;…any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer;…[any] false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney”;…[any] “unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt;…[any] unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice”; and any violation of “federal consumer financial law.”
As a result, the CFPB imposed a $1 million-dollar civil penalty to be paid by Pressler and Pressler, LLP within 30 days of the issuance of the Consent Order and a series of extremely restrictive administrative, reporting, and compliance monitoring polices to be maintained for five years from the date of the issuance of the order or from the date of the detection of any violation of any provision of the Order.
Pressler & Pressler, LLP
7 Entin Rd
Parsippany, NJ 07054-5020
Telephone: (973) 753-5100
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The FDCPA regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
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