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NYLAG Reaches Proposed Settlement to Stop Unlawful Debt Collection

Soto v. Houslanger & Associates

On July 11, 2022, the New York Legal Assistance Group got preliminary court approval of a proposed settlement in Soto v. Houslanger & Associates, PPLC et al., 19 Civ. 6691 (E.D.N.Y. 2019) (formerly Dupres v. Houslanger & Associates, PLLC et al.). This settlement will benefit 3,196 consumers who had a judgment entered against them in New York City Civil Court and the law firm Houslanger & Associates, PLLC executed on that judgment.

NYLAG brought this class action lawsuit in November 2019 on behalf of three New York City consumers against the law firm Houslanger & Associates and two of its attorneys, Todd Houslanger and Bryan Bryks. The case alleged that these lawyers used unlawful practices when executing on judgments entered against New York City consumers.

The case alleged that for years, these Defendants improperly executed on judgments by garnishing class members’ wages or restraining their bank accounts without possessing or reviewing necessary documents. As part of the Settlement, Defendants have agreed that they will permanently stop collecting on the judgments entered against Class Members, and will also stop collecting on certain additional New York City Civil Court judgments. Defendants have agreed to pay $155,000 as part of the Settlement. Defendants also agreed to change certain business practices prior to executing on judgments against New York City consumers. The settlement is scheduled for a fairness hearing on October 11, 2022.

For more information about the case and terms of the settlement, please visit www.houslangersettlement.com.

If you had a consumer debt judgment entered against you in New York City Civil Court and the law firm Houslanger & Associates, PLLC executed on that judgment at some point between 2016 and 2022, you should receive an official notice about the settlement by email or text message. If you received an official notice about the settlement and have any questions about the case or settlement, please visit www.houslangersettlement.com or contact the Class Settlement Administrator at 1-800-578-9164 or HouslangerSettlement@atticusadmin.com.

If the settlement website and Class Settlement Administrator are unable to answer your question, please contact us at 212-613-5032 or jceron@nylag.org. If you are not sure whether this applies to you, or you have other questions about debt collection, call NYLAG’s main line at 212-513-5000.

More Information:

Name: Soto v. Houslanger, PPLC et al.

Dkt. #: 19 Civ. 6691 (E.D.N.Y. 2019)

Judge: Hon. Rachel Kovner and Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara

Status: Proposed Settlement approved; Fairness Hearing and Final Approval pending

Claims:

Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, New York General Business Law, and New York Judiciary Law, for, among other things: executing on judgments without having copies of critical documents; opposing consumers’ motions to vacate the judgments without having these documents; failing to file and service required notices; getting deceptive releases from consumers who fight back in court; and failing to return funds when ordered to do so by the court.

Highlights:

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