June 17, 1994 |
Steven B. Zats, a Wayne lawyer, was accused in a lawsuit in federal court yesterday of engaging in "abusive, fraudulent and illegal" conduct in his debt-collection business. The class-action suit, filed by seven lawyers representing low-income clients in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, accuses Zats of racketeering, fraud, violation of state and federal debt-collection laws and violation of debtors' constitutional rights to due process of law. The suit, which names 14 plaintiffs, says Zats filed improper legal actions and illegally froze bank accounts in attempting to collect small debts.
February 25, 2009 |
For debtors and creditors both, the bankruptcy process involves a complex dance in which the debtors' prospects for survival are weighed against the creditors' rights to get cash out of the company. The law varies from one federal district to another, but bankruptcy judges in the Third Federal Circuit, which comprises Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, tend to be protective of labor contracts and employee rights, bankruptcy lawyers said. Beyond that, in cases such as the filing Sunday by Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C.
January 15, 1988 |
The Justice Department has opened "a full-scale coast-to-coast assault on deadbeats who owe the federal government money," Attorney General Edwin Meese 3d said yesterday. The nation's 94 U.S. attorneys are prepared to use various legal tactics - including the seizure of cars, boats and other assets - to force payments on $32.1 billion in overdue fines on delinquent farm, education, housing, small business and veterans' loans, Meese said. The Justice Department's nationwide program, tagged Operation Deadbeat, is an outgrowth of strategies developed by U.S. attorneys in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arizona, Alabama and a few other states to go after debts uncollectible by other federal agencies.
June 12, 1994 |
Edwina Rizzo vividly remembers the day her husband was on life support waiting for a heart transplant and Steven B. Zats called demanding payment of an overdue cable television bill. Rizzo, of Havertown, says she explained her husband's critical condition and the bill collector replied: "Hey, people get sick and die every day. That's not my problem. " Zats told her in another conversation, she says, to bring payment to his office without delay. "You crawl, you walk, you get a bus," Rizzo remembers him saying, "you do whatever you can to get here.
April 21, 2005 |
President Bush yesterday signed into law stiffer U.S. bankruptcy regulations that will make it harder for debtors to escape their troubles. "America is a nation of personal responsibility, where people are expected to meet their obligations," Bush said before signing the measure, which banks and credit-card companies had sought for years. A prominent consumer advocate cautioned, however, that the law could present debtors with new problems. The measure, which takes effect in six months, sets strict new eligibility limits for debtors seeking bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, which allows them to erase their debts after forfeiting their assets.
September 20, 1995 |
Federal agents believe that Main Line lawyer Steven B. Zats not only broke the law in a controversial debt-collection business but also stole money from his clients and evaded federal taxes, according to an FBI document made public yesterday. Zats' collection methods, detailed in an Inquirer article last year, included having his employees telephone small debtors and asking them, as part of a purported opinion survey, to identify their banks. If the debtors, often poor or out of work, named their banks, Zats then filed court papers to freeze their accounts.
September 21, 2014 |
The owners of the $129 million utility plant that heats and cools the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City warned in a court filing Friday that the plant itself might have to file for bankruptcy. ACR Energy Partners L.L.C., a joint venture of South Jersey Industries Inc. of Folsom, N.J., and DCO Energy L.L.C. of Mays Landing, N.J., has been paid just $2.35 million of the $11.85 million it has billed since Revel filed for its second bankruptcy in June. Before the bankruptcy, Revel was at least $11 million behind on its ACR payments, which include $1.7 million a month in fixed payments for debt service and returns on the $40 million in equity invested by the partners, according to court records.
May 6, 1999 |
For the second time in a year, the House moved to crack down on the rising tide of overextended consumers who use the bankruptcy law to avoid paying their unsecured debts. A reform bill, similar to a measure that the House approved overwhelmingly last year, passed yesterday evening, 313-108, a margin that if sustained would override a promised veto from President Clinton. But the House version is expected to undergo significant changes before it reaches the White House. The Senate, which adopted a differing measure last fall, is likely to remain opposed to provisions in the House bill that critics say shift too much power to creditors at the expense of consumers.
December 21, 1996 |
Sex-chat phone callers who fail to pay their credit-card charges for this Sodom and Gomorrah service often hear from bill collectors from hell. Troy Posey, who worked for the now-defunct Standup Communications, a collection agency in Huntingdon Valley, apparently was a bill collector who could give the devil his due. Posey, 31, of Camac Street near Rockland, in Fern Rock, yesterday was sentenced to two years in prison by U.S. District Judge...
September 12, 2000 |
Steven B. Zats, a former lawyer who used an illegal telephone scam in a relentless effort to collect money from small debtors, yesterday was sentenced by a federal judge to 33 months in prison. But U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois was careful to point out that the sentence was not for "dirty tricks" or for the notoriously nasty way Zats - who once told a wheelchair-bound man to "crawl" to his office to pay a debt - dealt with people. "He is being sentenced for stealing," said the judge.