Credit and Collections News, an excellent publication, is reporting the following:
“Five New Jersey lawyers who represent consumers have been named in a racketeering class action suit accusing them of bringing meritless suits against collection law firms in hopes that the firms will agree to quick settlements. The alleged racketeering pattern was described in the suit as consisting of locating collection letters and securing cooperation of their recipients, constructing unsubstantiated scenarios alleging classwide statutory damages, filing class action suits against the issuers of the letters, and settling the suit for a mid five- or low six-figure attorney fee, according to the suit. The plan’s success has been driven by a structure in which plaintiffs settle early in the litigation for as much as they can get but for less than the case would cost to defend at trial, the suit said. Defendants in the suit are attorneys Joseph Jones and Benjamin Wolf and their firm, Jones, Wolf & Kapasi in Fairfield; Laura Mann, a solo in Riverdale; and Ari Marcus and Yitzchak Zelman and their firm, Marcus & Zelman in Ocean Township. In Winters v. Jones, the class representatives are Jeffrey Winters and his company, Collection Solutions Inc. also known as CSI, of Hackensack, which the suit describes as a victim of the New Jersey Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act enterprise.”
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