Information about the Lawsuit Filed Against Northern Leasing Systems, Inc.

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, Fern A. Fisher are joint petitioners in this proceeding.  Please see below for answers to some frequently asked questions.

UPDATE: In a November 17, 2017 decision, the New York State Supreme Court denied a motion by Northern Leasing to dismiss the Attorney General’s lawsuit, except for certain claims based on New York General Business Law § 349 and claims against the lawyer Respondents. The lawsuit is still pending in New York State Supreme Court, and the Attorney General continues to seek relief for small business owners and employees nationwide who were affected by Northern Leasing’s deceptive practices. A copy of the decision is attached here.

  1. Who does this lawsuit affect?

    Answer:
    The lawsuit seeks relief for small business owners and employees nationwide who leased credit card processing equipment or software through Northern Leasing, including but not limited to, those who had default judgments entered against them in New York County Civil Court for failing to make payments on these leases.
  2. What type of relief is being sought in this action?

    Answer:
    The lawsuit seeks to vacate the default judgments obtained by Northern Leasing against small business owners and employees in New York County Civil Court.  The lawsuit also seeks additional relief, including but not limited to a permanent injunction prohibiting Northern Leasing, its related entities, and its owners and officers from continuing their deceptive business practices, ordering Northern Leasing to pay restitution to consumers, dissolving Northern Leasing Systems, Inc. and directing Northern Leasing to notify all three national credit reporting agencies that the default judgments have been vacated and should be removed from consumers’ credit reports.
  3. Do I need to take any action?

    Answer:
    At this time, small business owners and employees do not need to take any action regarding the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office and Judge Fisher.  Any updates on this lawsuit will be posted to this site.  However, if you have been sued by  Northern Leasing or have a default judgment entered against you by these entities, you are strongly encouraged to contact your own attorney for advice on how to handle your particular case.  You should never ignore a summons, complaint or any other legal document that is served on you.
  4. Is this a class action?

    Answer:
    No, this is not a class action, and the Attorney General’s Office does not represent any individual consumer.  If you need legal assistance regarding a default judgment entered against you by Northern Leasing, please consult your own attorney.  If you need assistance with finding an attorney who can help you, please contact your local bar association.
  5. What is the significance of the court’s November 17, 2017 decision? What are the next steps in the Attorney General’s lawsuit?

    Answer:
    The November 17, 2017 decision was not a decision on the merits. The decision simply means that the Attorney General and Chief Administrative Law Judge can proceed with the case. The Northern Leasing respondents will also have an opportunity to answer the allegations and respond to the evidence against them.
  6. How do I find out if a default judgment was entered against me by Northern Leasing in New York County Civil Court?

    Answer:
    If you are concerned that a default judgment may have been entered against you by Northern Leasing in New York City Civil Court, you may contact the Civil Court Clerk’s office for more information at NYCASEINFO@nycourts.gov.  You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com
  7. What if I have a default judgment against me?

    Answer:
    If a default judgment has been entered against you, it is important to contact an attorney immediately to advise you of your legal rights.  If you need assistance with finding an attorney who can help you, please contact your local bar association.  For assistance with filing a motion to vacate a default judgment in New York City Civil Court, please consult the New York State Unified Court System website at www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/diy/consumerdebt.shtml.
  8. What should I do if I currently have a lease with Northern Leasing?

    Answer:
    The relief obtained through the Attorney General’s action so far does not prevent Northern Leasing from collecting on its lease. If you have any questions about your obligations under your lease, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.
  9. How do I file a complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s Office against Northern Leasing?

    Answer:
    You can file an online complaint with our Office’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau at https://forms.ag.ny.gov/CIS/consumer-complaints.jsp or call 1-800-771-7755 to request a complaint form.  Complaints must be in writing.