New Jersey Law Firm Filed Thousands of Lawsuits to Collect Consumer Debt

Pressler & Pressler based their suits on flimsy or nonexistent evidence and won cases when consumers failed to defend themselves

New Jersey Law Firm Filed Thousands of Lawsuits to Collect Consumer Debt
Image: NCCC
April 26, 2016

A New Jersey-based law firm is at the center of a federal complaint alleging the firm churned out unfair and deceptive debt collection lawsuits based on flimsy or nonexistent evidence.

A consent order handed down from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) bans Pressler & Pressler, its two partners, and New Century Financial Services from using illegal practices intended to force consumers to pay debts they may not owe. The order also forces the law firm to pay a $1 million fine and New Century to pay a $1.5 million fine.

New Century Financial Services buys and collects defaulted consumer debts and hands off those accounts to the law firm for collection. According to the CFPB complaint, Pressler & Pressler – operated by partners Sheldon H. Pressler and Gerard J. Felt -- filed hundreds of thousands of lawsuits against consumers. Attorneys generally spent less than a few minutes reviewing each case before initiating a lawsuit.

Additionally, the cases generally had little to no evidence to back up each suit. In some cases, any evidence obtained was either false or unreliable. Pressler & Pressler generally won cases because consumers failed to defend themselves.

The CFPB's order against Pressler & Pressler and the named partners is available here and the order against New Century Financial Services is available here.