Court Approves Groundbreaking Settlement in Debt Collection Class Action

On May 24, 2016, the U.S. District Court approved a historic settlement in Sykes v. Mel S. Harris & Associates, a class action alleging massive debt collection abuse in the New York State Courts. The settlement will return $60 million to low-income people whose bank accounts were seized or wages garnished and extinguish more than $1 billion in alleged debt. In addition, the plaintiffs expect the New York State courts to vacate nearly 200,000 fraudulently-obtained default judgments. In the words of Judge Denny Chin, the settlement will bring “concrete and extraordinarily meaningful benefits” to class members and “will have an immediate and enormously positive impact on the lives of many.”

NCLEJ is of counsel to New Economy Project, which brought the litigation along with MFY Legal Services and Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady.