Important Information about Northern Leasing Systems, Inc., NLS Equipment Finance LLC and Leasing Expenses Company LLC

Northern Leasing Systems lawsuit

On April 11, 2016, the New York State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Northern Leasing Systems, Inc., a New York company, and several of its affiliated companies, including Lease Finance Group LLC, MBF Leasing LLC, Pushpin Holdings LLC and others (collectively “Northern Leasing”), as well as principal, Jay Cohen a/k/a Ari Jay Cohen, law firm Joseph I. Sussman, P.C., and other individuals involved in Northern Leasing’s operations, alleging that these entities engaged in fraudulent and deceptive practices that trap small business owners and employees across the country into lease agreements for over-priced credit card processing equipment. The lawsuit further alleges that Northern Leasing and their attorneys abused the judicial process by suing to collect on these leases in the Civil Court of the City of New York, regardless of where the individual sued resides or where the transaction occurred. The majority of individuals sued lived in states other than New York. Some lived as far away as California. The Attorney General on behalf of the People of the State of New York, and the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Courts, George J. Silver are joint petitioners in this proceeding.

On June 8, 2020, the Court issued a decision finding that the Attorney General had proved her claims and ordered extensive relief. See press release here and court decision here.

As a result of the court’s decision, Northern Leasing, Lease Finance Group, MBF Leasing, Pushpin Holdings LLC, Golden Eagle Leasing, Lease Source-LSI, and the other respondents were required to stop all the following activities:

  • all Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments or other automatic payments to Northern Leasing based on any existing equipment finance lease.
  • all efforts to collect on any existing equipment finance lease or judgment (including but not limited to sending collection notices, threatening legal action, filing new legal actions, or prosecuting any pending legal action).
  • purchasing or originating any new equipment finance leases.
  • selling any equipment finance leases that they own or service to other entities.

This means, among other things, that these companies should no longer be deducting money from your bank account on current leases or to satisfy a default judgment entered against you. If you have been sued by one of these companies in New York civil court or have a default judgment entered against you by Northern Leasing or one of these affiliated entities as a result of a case in New York civil court, you may wish to contact an attorney for advice on how to handle your particular case.

On June 21, Northern Leasing and the other respondents filed a notice of appeal of the court’s decision. Please check back here periodically for updates.

Lawsuit against Northern Leasing Spin-Off Entities (NLS Equipment Finance and Leasing Expenses Company)

On November 23, 2020, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against NLS Equipment Finance LLC, Leasing Expenses Company LLC, and several affiliated entities, as well as Ariel Schachter, Sara Krieger, Leonard Mezei and Jay Cohen (a/k/a Ari Jay Cohen, who was also named in the original Northern Leasing lawsuit) (collectively, “NLS-EF”). The Attorney General alleged that NLS-EF was collecting on leases that were rescinded by the court in the Northern Leasing proceeding and engaging in the same practices found by that court to be part of a fraudulent scheme. The Attorney General alleged that NLS-EF involved the same people as Northern Leasing, running the same exact fraudulent scheme, and generating the same complaints from defrauded small business owners.

The Attorney General sought, and was granted, a temporary restraining order to stop these practices. The December 18, 2020 temporary restraining order, among other things:

  • bars Leasing Expenses Company, NLS Equipment Finance, and any other entity that is owned, operated, controlled or created by Schachter, Krieger, Mezei and Cohen from collecting on equipment finance leases, including by deducting money from any individual’s bank account or entering into new leases with anyone.

This means, among other things, that these companies should no longer be deducting money from your bank account on current leases or entering into new leases with you.

The Court scheduled a hearing for January 2021 on the Attorney General’s request that these parties be required to return the money they collected as restitution to defrauded lessees, among other relief. Please check back here periodically for updates.