The National Consumer Law Center’s Partners Council selected the Impact Litigation attorney as a 2023 Rising Star for her work taking on predatory, for-profit schools and student loan debt.
CHICAGO, IL — On Saturday at their annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, the National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Partners Council awarded New York Legal Assistance Group’s (NYLAG) Jessica Ranucci with a 2023 Rising Star Award, a recognition of young attorneys’ impressive work on behalf of consumers. She is one of only three recipients nationwide of this year’s award.
Ranucci, a Supervising Attorney in NYLAG’s Special Litigation Unit, has made a name for herself in her consumer protection work, accomplishing extraordinary feats on behalf of consumers in New York City and nationwide over the course of her six years of practice so far. Among her numerous impressive legal victories, Ranucci developed and successfully litigated Williams v. Equitable Acceptance Corp., 18 Civ. 7527 (S.D.N.Y.), an 80,000-person nationwide class action against a network of student loan debt relief scam companies which resulted in a class-wide settlement that provided for $1 million in cash payments, as well as over $1 million in injunctive relief.
“I am grateful for this recognition from NCLC, and grateful to do the work I do at NYLAG in consumer law to obtain justice for people experiencing poverty,” said Jessica Ranucci, Supervising Attorney in NYLAG’s Special Litigation Unit. “As there is no shortage of bad actors preying on those in need, I’m committed as ever to continuing to stand up for New Yorkers experiencing poverty, who all too often encounter predatory actors unlawfully taking their money—money that should instead be used for rent, groceries, childcare, and medical care.”
“That Ms. Ranucci received this award comes as a surprise to no one who’s ever had the privilege of watching her work,” said NYLAG President and CEO Lisa Rivera. “Her accomplishments perfectly represent what NYLAG stands for and aspires to do with our Special Litigation Unit: She identifies broad institutional failures that harm people experiencing poverty and initiates class actions and other impact lawsuits to bring about systemic change, all to advance our ongoing pursuit of racial, economic, and social justice. I have no doubt Ms. Ranucci will continue to build on her already impressive reputation as a rising star in consumer law, and significant populations across our city and our country will benefit from it.”
“I’ve had the honor of working closely with Ms. Ranucci since she began her legal career at NYLAG six years ago, and it was clear from the start that she would do incredible work to right significant wrongs on behalf of people living in poverty,” said Danielle Tarantolo, Director of NYLAG’s Special Litigation Unit. “She is a force of nature who observes injustices and applies her massive talents to address them, taking on predatory student loan scammers, process servers who commit sewer service, and others. I’m proud to say that Ms. Ranucci’s dedication and expertise exemplify our work at NYLAG, and I say with the utmost confidence that bad actors who prey on consumers in New York City and around the country should be afraid if she sets her sights on them.”
Other successful actions in which Ranucci has had a leading role include:
Burks v. Gotham Process Inc., 20 Civ. 10001 (E.D.N.Y.): federal class action on behalf of more than 3,000 consumers against a debt collection law firm, a process serving agency, and two individual process servers alleging widespread sewer service; $1.35 million settlement included a permanent cessation of collection on more than $6 million underlying debt by the law firm
Dupres v. Houslanger & Associates, PLLC, 19 Civ. 6691 (E.D.N.Y.): federal class action challenging law firm’s predatory debt collection practices, including failure to review underlying documentation before enforcing judgments, lack of meaningful attorney review, and other misconduct; $150,000 in monetary relief and a permanent ban on the conduct alleged in the complaint
Philemon v. Aries Capital Partners, Inc., No. 18 Civ. 1927 (E.D.N.Y.): federal class action against a debt collectors illegally collecting on for-profit college tuition debt; resulted in a favorable settlement
Flores v. Technical Career Institutes, Inc., Adv. Proceeding No. 18-01554 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.): adversary proceeding on behalf of a class of for-profit college students who paid tuition to for-profit college immediately before its precipitous closure
Quero v. DeVos, No. 18 Civ. 9509 (S.D.N.Y.): FDCPA class action against Department of Education on behalf of for-profit college students who were not mailed closed school discharge forms as required by regulation; resulted in a favorable settlement
Colon v. DeVos, No. 19 Civ. 6597 (S.D.N.Y.): sought borrower defense relief for two individual applicants with strong, early claims; resulted in favorable settlement including loan discharge
Chapple v. Comerica, No. 21 Civ. 4978 (E.D.N.Y.): EFTA case on behalf of an SSI recipient based on a Direct Express benefits card; resulted in a favorable settlement
Founded in 1990, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading civil legal services organization combating economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. NYLAG exists because wealth should not determine who has access to justice. Our services impacted the lives of 113,000 people last year.