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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. 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.

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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.”



Rhode Island Merchant Cash Advance Legal Help – Finding the Right Attorney

Getting a merchant cash advance can seem like an easy way for a business to get quick funding. But these advances come with high fees and rates that can bury a business in debt fast. If you’ve taken out a merchant cash advance in Rhode Island and are struggling under the crushing repayment terms, legal help may provide a lifeline.

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How Merchant Cash Advances Work

Merchant cash advances provide businesses with lump sums of cash in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. The advances aren‘t considered loans under Rhode Island law, so lenders can bypass caps on loan rates and fees. Instead of fixed payments like a loan, merchant cash advance payments fluctuate based on credit card receipts.That flexibility comes at a steep price; merchant cash advance rates often exceed 100% APR when fees are factored in. And the more credit card sales a business does, the more it pays back. Repayment rates of 20-50% of daily credit card receipts are common until the advance is paid off.With such punitive repayment terms, many businesses end up owing far more than they received. And when they can’t keep up with payments, lenders can freeze bank accounts or sue for breach of contract.

Rhode Island Merchant Cash Advance Laws

Merchant cash advance companies operate in a legal gray area in Rhode Island. Advances fall outside lending laws, so there are no caps on rates and fees. Lenders also have broad leeway to use aggressive collection tactics.However, some abusive merchant cash advance practices may be illegal under Rhode Island law:

  • Deceptive marketing: Lenders can’t misrepresent repayment terms, fail to disclose key fees, or promise guaranteed approval.
  • Unfair contract terms: Contracts can’t contain confusing legalese, trap doors, or unreasonable default clauses.
  • Harassment: Lenders can’t use threats, intimidation or harassment to collect payments.
  • Improper account access: Lenders need authorization to make withdrawals from merchant accounts. Unauthorized withdrawals may constitute fraud or theft.
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Getting Legal Help with Merchant Cash Advances

If you feel a merchant cash advance lender has engaged in unfair or illegal practices, a business attorney can review your case for free and discuss options. An attorney can analyze your contract to spot unenforceable clauses and determine if the lender violated any laws.Depending on the circumstances, potential legal remedies can include:

Negotiating a Settlement

An attorney can negotiate with the lender to reduce the amount owed or create a reasonable payment plan. Lenders have incentive to settle cases rather than pursue lengthy and uncertain litigation.

Filing Breach of Contract Claims

If the lender didn‘t uphold its contractual duties – like improperly accessing your accounts – you may have grounds to sue for breach of contract. This can be used as leverage in settlement talks.

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Challenging the Contract’s Validity

If the contract contains illegal or deceptive terms, an attorney may be able to get it invalidated in court. This would eliminate the debt obligation entirely. However, the lender could still sue to try recovering funds under alternate legal theories.

Asking Courts for Relief

You can petition courts to reduce payments to affordable levels under Rhode Island‘s “unconscionable contract” law. This argues the original repayment terms are unfairly burdensome. Judges have discretion to lower payments based on your financial situation.

Filing Complaints with Regulators

If the lender engaged in violations like deception or harassment, complaints can be made to agencies like Rhode Island‘s Department of Business Regulation. Regulators can investigate claims and sanction law-breaking lenders.

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Declaring Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy stops collections and wipes out dischargeable debts. However, merchant cash advances used to fund operations may be considered non-dischargeable. An attorney can advise if bankruptcy could help your situation.

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What to Expect from a Merchant Cash Advance Attorney

The first step is scheduling a free case review. The attorney will examine your contract and business records to understand the full history. Key questions include:

  • What promises did the broker/lender make about repayment rates and terms? Were disclosures inadequate?
  • Does the contract contain confusing, contradictory or unconscionable clauses?
  • Did the lender access accounts or change payment terms without proper notice or consent?
  • Have collection communications been abusive, threatening or harassing?

After identifying potential legal claims, the attorney will discuss strategy options and associated risks and costs. They can also give expectations on case timelines and likelihood of favorable settlements or rulings.With an attorney’s help, many businesses can get crushing merchant cash advance burdens reduced or eliminated. So don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance if unfair lending practices have jeopardized your livelihood. The sooner you start talks, the more leverage can be gained in negotiations.

Finding the Right Attorney for Your Case

The attorney you choose can make a big difference in how your case plays out. When researching attorneys, look for these important qualifications:

Specialized Experience

Seeking out lawyers with extensive experience fighting merchant cash advance lenders is crucial. They’ll know all the dirty tricks such lenders use and how to counter them.

Contract Review Expertise

You need someone well-versed in analyzing complex contracts to spot unenforceable clauses. This can undermine the lender’s ability to collect.

Aggressive Negotiators

The top attorneys excel at hard-nosed negotiations to pressure lenders into favorable settlements. You need a fierce advocate in your corner.

Courtroom Track Record

In case talks break down, it helps having an attorney with a proven history of courtroom wins against lenders. This inspires more reluctance to litigate on their end.

Reasonable Fees

While hiring the best representation is paramount, make sure to understand fee structures during your search. Some attorneys offer contingency fees or payment plans to ease the financial burden.Reputable attorney directories like Avvo and FindLaw offer user reviews and ratings to aid your search. Additionally, the Rhode Island Bar Association provides referrals to vetted lawyers at reasonable rates.Don’t go it alone against merchant cash advance lenders – their contracts and tactics are designed to maximize collections at your expense. But with an experienced legal advocate negotiating on your behalf, you can reclaim control and chart a path to financial stability.

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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