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NYC Attorneys Lose Round In Battle Over Debt Collection Licensing

Sharon Edmondson, Washington Legislative Team Member | July 01, 2015

In (Berman v. City of New York, 2015 BL 208008, NY., No. 114, certified question answered, 6/30/15) New York’s highest court has said state law does not preempt a New York City law that creates a licensing requirement for debt collection agencies, including some lawyers and law firms that may qualify as debt collectors. The ruling answers a question certified to it by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is weighing a challenge to New York City Local Law 15 by attorneys who say New York State’s statutory authority to regulate attorneys trumps Local Law 15.


The June 30 decision does not resolve the case, but gives the Second Circuit more information about the law at issue. It is unknown when the Second Circuit will issue their opinion.


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