Class Action filed against Pressler and Pressler For Improperly Having Levies Issued Againt Joint Bank Accounts
The firm recently filed a class action lawsuit against Pressler and Pressler, LLP (sometimes also referred to as Pressler & Pressler). The case alleges that the firm violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when it causes joint bank accounts to be levied. While the firm may arguably comply with New Jersey state law when doing so, the case contends that federal law requires them to do more. Currently, the practice in the debt collection field to to instruct county Sheriffs to levy “on all bank accounts” or a on a specific account where the debtor is an authorized signer or signatory. This causes several problems when the levied account is a joint bank account. Obviously, the other person on the account (who does not owe any money) has their money frozen until the levy is lifted, sometimes months later. Sometimes, the debtor owns none of the money in the account – or only has funds in it that cannot be levied at all, like social security or disability payments. Having your money frozen often causes people to fall behind on other bills. Unknown to many people, Fair Debt laws protect people other than just debtors from abusive collection actions.
The case basically advocates that old driver’s ed manta – debt collectors should “stop, look and listen” before attaching a bank account. This would be very easy – collectors could ask specific questions of the debtor, such as who are all of the people authorized to sign on the account. Even simpler, the debt collectors to instruct the Sheriffs to only levy on the accounts where the debtor is the sole signer on the account. Basically, lawyers should find out facts before they take actions that could hurt innocent people. A copy of the Complaint can be viewed here: Kieffer v. New Century Financial and Pressler and Pressler
If you have a debt collection problem, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation about your options.