Meet Steven Raiser, ESQ
Chief Legal Officer / Legal Counsel @ Delancey Street
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. He, along with his unit, received the New York State Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Public Service and was presented with our state flag by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
Steven M. Raiser is admitted to practice law in the state courts and federal court in the Eastern District. On November 14, 2010, he was sworn in to the United States Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington, D.C. 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 Advance Legal Help – Finding the Right Attorney
A merchant cash advance (MCA) can seem like an easy way to get quick cash for your business. But they often come with predatory terms and can spiral out of control, leaving you in serious debt. If you’ve found yourself in legal trouble with an MCA company, don’t panic – help is out there. Working with an experienced attorney can help level the playing field and protect your rights. This article covers everything you need to know about getting legal help with merchant cash advances.
How Merchant Cash Advances Work
First, a quick refresher on how merchant cash advances work. An MCA company gives you an upfront lump sum of cash in exchange for a percentage of your future credit card and debit card sales. So for example, they might give your business $100,000 upfront in exchange for 15% of your daily card sales until they recoup $150,000.Unlike a loan, an MCA isn’t paid back in fixed installments. Instead, the payback amount fluctuates based on your daily sales volumes. This contingency structure is how MCA companies have historically skirted usury laws and been able to charge such high equivalent interest rates.
Common MCA Problems
While MCAs may technically be legal in some states, that doesn’t make their tactics ethical. Many MCA companies engage in predatory behavior such as:
- Charging extremely high equivalent interest rates of 50-200%+
- Failing to adequately disclose terms and conditions
- Making misleading statements about payback amounts
- Aggressive collections and lawsuits when merchants fall behind
As you can imagine, things often go south quickly for merchants who sign up for one of these arrangements. It’s not uncommon for the high daily payments to sink a business, especially when sales volumes drop unexpectedly.
Getting Legal Help
If an MCA company has already sued your business or is engaging in harassing collections behavior, it’s important to get legal help immediately. An experienced attorney can advise you on the best response and make sure your rights are protected.Here are a few key reasons to work with a lawyer:
There may be defenses that could invalidate the agreement or reduce what you owe. For example, some attorneys have had success arguing that MCA agreements are actually illegal loans in disguise. There also may be issues with improper disclosures or misleading statements made by the MCA rep.A good business lawyer will evaluate all potential defenses and build the strongest case possible.
In many cases, it may be in both parties’ interest to negotiate a settlement rather than drag things out in court. An experienced attorney can deal with the MCA company on your behalf to try and work out a reasonable compromise. This can save enormous time, money and stress compared to litigation.
If a fair settlement can’t be reached, the next step is taking the MCA company to court to invalidate the agreement. There have been several major lawsuits against MCA tactics lately, and merchants have seen some big wins. But you need an experienced business trial lawyer to stand up to their aggressive legal teams.
Stop Harassment & Threats
Once you have an attorney involved, it often puts an end to threatening calls and harassment from collection agents. Just the lawyer’s letterhead on a response letter can make them stand down and deal with your lawyer instead. This gives you much-needed peace of mind to focus on saving your business.
Choosing the Right MCA Attorney
Not all attorneys have experience dealing with merchant cash advance cases. When researching lawyers, you want to look for these key qualifications:
Look for someone who specifically mentions MCA defense as one of their practice areas. The laws around these types of alternative financings can be complex, so you want an attorney well-versed in this niche.
Track Record of Success
Check online reviews and ask the attorney about their specific experience fighting MCA companies. Have they won favorable settlements for clients? Taken cases to trial successfully? Make sure they have the litigation record to back up their claims.
Commercial Litigation Background
You want a business trial lawyer who is comfortable in court – not just someone doing document filings. They should have extensive experience representing companies in complex commercial disputes.
The right attorney should offer fee structures designed for cash-strapped small business clients. This includes options like contingency fees, payment plans, or deferred payment arrangements. Beware of lawyers asking for large upfront retainers before doing anything.With the right legal guidance, you can defend your business against predatory MCA tactics. Don’t be afraid to ask attorneys tough qualifying questions about their experience. And make sure you understand fee expectations before committing.Fighting an MCA lawsuit won’t be easy, but taking a stand against unethical behavior is so important. There are great lawyers out there who can help – you just have to do your research to find them. Best of luck getting this difficult situation sorted out so you can get back to focusing on business growth.