NCLEJ Wins Second Circuit Appeal against Debt Collection Attorney

NCLEJ has secured a victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holding a debt collection attorney accountable for deceptive and unfair litigation practices against low-income New Yorkers. NCLEJ, along with co-counsel New Economy Project and Ahmad Keshavarz, appealed the case to protect Social Security benefits from unlawful restraint and seizure by debt collectors in New York. This case arose when a debt collection law firm restrained Franklin Arias’s bank account, which contained only Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security is exempt from collection under federal and state law.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the federal consumer watchdog agency – filed a friend of the court brief on Mr. Arias’s behalf, as did a coalition of ten legal services organizations from across New York State.

NCLEJ’s Claudia Wilner and Ed Krugman represented Mr. Arias, and Ms. Wilner argued the case in the Second Circuit. Read the opinion here.