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Steven Raiser is Chief Legal Officer, and Legal-Counsel at Delancey Street. Steven is a native of Long Island and has also resided in Manhattan and the Bronx.

Since being admitted to the New York Bar, Steven has represented the city of New York, serving as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel. He handled all aspects of litigation in child neglect cases there, representing the interests of the children and the city. He then served as an Assistant District Attorney, where he successfully prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases, from violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to homicides. During his time as a prosecutor, Steven was involved in high-profile cases such as those involving Rapper DMX and NY Rangers’ Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh.

While serving as a prosecutor, he joined the U.S. Army. As a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Steven volunteered for active duty in Iraq. There he served in the office of the Staff Judge Advocate, defending soldiers from actions instituted by the federal government, making probable cause determinations for the command, and assisting in the training of Iraqi soldiers in legal proceedings. In recognition of his service in Iraq, he earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for meritorious service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Army Commendation Medal for exceptional meritorious service during combat operations.

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Steven M. Raiser is admitted to practice law in the state courts and federal court in the Eastern District. Steven has appeared as a legal analyst for FOX, CNN, and Court TV (TRU TV). His interviews on CNN and FOX have been posted to their websites and have been showcased under “must see videos.”



Merchant cash advances can be a great financing option for small businesses, but they also come with legal risks. If your Chicago business took out a merchant cash advance and is now facing legal issues or debt problems, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Our legal team at Delancey Street specializes in helping Chicago businesses get out of tricky merchant cash advance situations.

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How Merchant Cash Advances Work

Before we dive into the legal issues, let’s quickly review how merchant cash advances work. A merchant cash advance provides a business with a lump sum of capital in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. Typically, the merchant cash advance company takes 10-20% of daily credit card receipts until the initial cash advance has been repaid in full, plus fees and interest.Unlike a small business loan, merchant cash advances don’t come with fixed monthly payments. The flexible structure seems attractive at first, but it can quickly spiral out of control if sales drop. Many businesses underestimate how much the merchant cash advance will cost them over time.

Common Legal Issues with Merchant Cash Advances

There are a few common legal issues that can arise with merchant cash advances:

Excessively High Interest Rates

Some merchant cash advance companies charge interest rates over 50% or even 100%. These astronomically high rates may be illegal under Illinois lending laws regarding usury interest rate caps. An experienced attorney can help you fight back against predatory lending practices.

Breach of Contract

If the terms of your merchant cash advance contract seem unfair or you believe the company breached its contractual duties, you may have grounds to terminate the contract. An attorney can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Debt Collection Harassment

Aggressive debt collection tactics are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a merchant cash advance company harasses you with excessive calls or makes false threats, our legal team can step in and stop the harassment.

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Bankruptcy Protection

Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy may help eliminate part or all of what you owe on a merchant cash advance. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can advise if this debt relief option makes sense for your small business.

Attorney Services for Merchant Cash Advance Issues

The attorneys at Delancey Street provide a full range of legal services to help Chicago businesses resolve merchant cash advance problems, including:

  • Contract Review & Disputes – We’ll review your merchant cash advance contract to look for unlawful terms or breaches that would justify termination.
  • Usury Interest Rate Lawsuits – Our Chicago business lawyers can file a lawsuit if your interest rates violate Illinois lending laws.
  • FDCPA Violation Assistance – We’ll send formal cease and desist letters if a merchant cash advance company harasses you or makes false statements.
  • Debt Settlement Negotiations – If bankruptcy isn’t the best option, we may be able to negotiate a lump-sum settlement for less than you owe.
  • Bankruptcy Filing & Protection – Our experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can provide the debt relief and financial protection of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Ongoing Legal Guidance – Even if you already have a merchant cash advance, our lawyers can advise you on minimizing legal and financial risks going forward.

Protect Your Chicago Small Business with Legal Help

Don’t let merchant cash advance debt spiral out of control – the attorneys at Delancey Street can help you regain control over your finances. We have over 20 years assisting Chicago small business owners with complex legal matters. Schedule a free case review today to discuss your merchant cash advance issues. Our lawyers will carefully evaluate your situation and outline your debt relief options. Ready to get out of merchant cash advance debt? Reach out now to get reliable legal guidance on your side.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I just stop making daily payments on my merchant cash advance?

Stopping payments without legal guidance is not advisable. The merchant cash advance company could hit your business with breach of contract penalties, excessive fees, or lawsuits. Speak to one of our lawyers first so we can properly protect your interests.

Can filing bankruptcy get rid of my obligations to repay a merchant cash advance?

Potentially, yes. Declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy stops all collection activity and legally eliminates qualifying business debts. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys will determine if your merchant cash advance balances can be discharged in bankruptcy court.

See also  7 Steps to Eliminate Small Business Debt

What are the signs of an illegal merchant cash advance contract?

Warning signs of an unlawful merchant cash advance agreement include interest rates over the state legal limit, overly vague or confusing terms, lack of fee disclosures, mandatory arbitration clauses that limit your legal rights, and giving the lender access to personal bank accounts.

What legal defenses can I use to fight a merchant cash advance lawsuit?

There are several defenses our attorneys may use to contest a merchant cash advance lawsuit, such as arguing the interest rates are usurious, the contract terms are unconscionable, or the company failed to fulfill its contractual duties. We can also counter sue for FDCPA violations if the company used illegal collection tactics.

Delancey Street is here for you

Our team is available always to help you. Regardless of whether you need advice, or just want to run a scenario by us. We take pride in the fact our team loves working with our clients - and truly cares about their financial and mental wellbeing.

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