The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday in a split decision ruled that a district court was within its rights to grant class action status to a lawsuit claiming FDCPA and RICO Act violations for improper service of process in debt collection legal actions.

The case, Monique Sykes et al., vs. Mel Harris & Associates, LLC et al., alleges that collection law firm Mel Harris, acting on behalf of debt buyer Leucadia National Corp., employed a process server that allegedly deliberately did not properly serve collection lawsuit defendants with notices they were being sued. As a result, the suit alleges that when the debtors didn’t appear in court, Leucadia and Mel Harris obtained default judgments against them, which allowed them to freeze debtors’ bank accounts and threaten to garnish wages or property to obtain settlements.


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