Consumer Attorneys Guiding You Through Fair Debt Collection

Philip D. Stern

Attorney

For over a dozen years, Philip Stern has limited his practice primarily to defending lawsuits brought by debt collection law firms and pursuing claims against debt collectors who violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other consumer protection statutes. He is a former adjunct professor in appellate advocacy at Seton Hall Law School and has also been a presenter for continuing legal education on issues related to consumer debt collection both in New Jersey and at national conferences.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Stern has tried numerous bench and jury trials and has handled several appeals before the New Jersey Appellate Division as well as before the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Many of the non-consumer cases he handled involved complex litigation in both state and federal court and centered on sophisticated commercial real estate financing, large-scale construction disputes, title insurance claims, bankruptcy, and zoning.

Recognized in the Legal Community

In 2012, Mr. Stern was recognized by Inside Jersey Magazine in its selection of New Jersey’s Top Legal Minds. Since the time he was first rated by Martindale-Hubbell® in 1995, he has received its highest rating: AV Preeminent®. For more than a century, Martindale-Hubbell obtains peer-review ratings of attorneys and recognizes lawyers based on legal ability and ethical standards. Mr. Stern's peer-rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 signifies the highest level in both ability and ethics. Mr. Stern volunteers as a member of the New Jersey Bar Association’s Consumer Protection Law Committee and as a volunteer attorney with the non-profit Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Newark Legal Advice and Resource Clinic for Consumers.

As an active member of the International Association of Lions Clubs, a worldwide organization of men and women volunteering to serve their communities, Mr. Stern served as District Governor in 2009-2010. He believes cooperative volunteering organized to serve local communities but leveraged, when necessary, to provide global assistance maximizes our abilities to improve the human condition and serve the needs of others.

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  • Education
    • Benjamin N. Cardozo (Yeshiva University) School of Law, Juris Doctor
    • University of Pennsylvania, B.A.
  • Bar Admissions
    • New Jersey
    • District of Columbia
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Class Counsel Certifications
    • Anderson v. Rubin & Rothman, LLC, U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y. Case No. 2:07-cv-03375-SJF;
    • Anderson v. Nationwide Credit, Inc., U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y. Case No. 2:08-cv-01016-LDW;
    • Gravina v. Client Services, Inc., U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y. Case No. 2:08-cv-03634-LDW;
    • Seraji v. Capital Management Services, LP, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 1:09-cv-00767-DEA;
    • Krug v. Forster, Garbus & Garbus, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:08-cv-03504-MAS;
    • Williams v. Palisades Collection, N.J. Super. Court Docket No. BER-L-001604-11;
    • Krug v. Brachfeld, N.J. Super. Court Docket No. GLO-000419-11;
    • Nicholas v. CMRE Financial Services, Inc., N.J. Super. Court Docket No. BER-L-4336-11;
    • Krug v. Focus Receivables Management, LLC, N.J. Super. Court Docket No. BER-L-4337-11;
    • Williams v. The CBE Group, Inc., U.S. District Court, N.J.D. Case No. 2:11-cv-03680-PS;
    • Williams v. Pressler and Pressler, LLP, Case 2:11-cv-07296-KSH-CLW
    • Weissman v. Gutworth, U.S. District Court, N.J.D. Case No. 2:14-cv-00666-WHW-CLW;
    • Irizarry v. Member Solutions, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:14-cv-00628-MCA-MAH;
    • Mansour v. Seas & Associates, LLC, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:14-cv-02935-SCM;
    • Jones v. Delta Management Associates, Inc., U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis. Case No. 1:15-cv-00267-WCG;
    • Zavian v. Client Services, Inc., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-0682-SCM;
    • Maldonado, et al. v. Raymond Meisenbacher & Sons, Esqs., P.C., et al., U.S. District Court, N.J.D. Case No. 3:15-cv-01845-DEA;
    • Wood v. New Century Financial Services, Inc., N.J. Super. Court, Docket No. MRS-L-002679-15;
    • Prendergast v. Certified Credit & Collection Bureau, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 3:15-cv-07411-TJB;
    • Kielbasinski v. A.R. Resources, Inc., U.S. District Court, W.D. Pa. Case No. 3:15-cv-00066-KRG;
    • Rittle v. Premium Receivables, LLC, U.S. District Court, M.D. Pa. Case No. 1:15-cv-00166-SHR;
    • Specht v. Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc., U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y. Case No. 7:15-cv-02159-PED;
    • Gadime v. NRA Group, LLC, U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y. Case No. 2:15-cv-04841-SJF-AKT;
    • Maldonado, et al. v. Nelson, Watson & Associates, et al., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-05940-MAH;
    • Sandoval v. LVNV Funding LLC, et al., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-06728-KM-MAH;
    • Chung v. CCB Credit Services, Inc., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-05198-KM-MAH;
    • Wood v. Credit Control, LLC, U.S. District Court, D. Kan. Case No. 6:16-cv-01098-KGG;
    • Feliciano, et al. v. Forster, Garbus & Garbus, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-02496-CLW;
    • Maldonado, et al. v. Law Offices of Faloni & Associates, LLC, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-02859-CLW;
    • Dickon v. Rubin & Rothman, LLC, .S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-7961-SCM;
    • Williams v. Pressler & Pressler, LLP, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:11-cv-07296-CLW;
    • Bell v. Adler Wallach & Associates, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court, W.D. Tex. Case No. 5:16-cv-00366-OLG;
    • Thomas v. ARS National Services, Inc., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:15-cv-03635-JAD;
    • Ballaj v. Gatestone & Co. International, Inc., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:16-cv-01311-CLW;
    • Bordeaux v. Ltd. Fin. Servs., L.P., et al., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:16-cv-00243-KSH-CLW
    • Safranski v. Professional Placement Services, LLC, U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis. Case No. 1:17-cv-00129-WCG
    • Smith v. Simm Associates, Inc., U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis. Case No. 1:17-cv-00769-WCG
    • Heerema v. AFNI, Inc., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:16-cv-00244-JBC
    • ​​​​​​​Diaz v. Collecto Inc. d/b/a EOS CCA, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:16-cv-02087
    • Medicine To Go Pharmacies, Inc. v. Macoven Pharm. LLC, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 2:16-cv-07717-MF
    • Volkman v. Enhanced Recovery Company, LLC, U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis. Case No.18-cv-91
    • Hovermale v. Immediate Credit Recovery Inc., U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 1:15-cv-05646-RBK-JS
    • ​​​​​​​Weiss v. The Law Offices of Frederic I. Weinberg, U.S. District Court, D.N.J. Case No. 1:16-cv-01679-KW
  • Notable Decisions

    Avila v. Riexinger & Assocs., LLC, 817 F.3d 72 (2d Cir. 2016)

    Adopted Seventh Circuit’s safe-harbor language for disclosing the amount of a debt in a collection letter when the balance increases over time. (Orally argued)

    Bock v. Pressler & Pressler, LLP, 30 F. Supp. 3d 283 (D.N.J. 2014), vac. on other grounds, 658 Fed. App’x. 63 (3rd Cir. 2016)

    Collection law firm’s filing of collection complaints in state court which were signed by an attorney when no attorney had been involvement in any meaningful sense to reach a professional conclusion as to the merits of the claims violated the FDCPA. (Orally argued)

    Bock v. Pressler & Pressler, LLP, 254 F. Supp. 3d 724 (D.N.J. 2017), recon. den., 2017 WL 4711472 (D.N.J. Oct. 19, 2017)

    Following remand to allow district court to consider standing issues recently addressed by Supreme Court in Spokeo v. Robins, falsity of implied representation of an attorney’s involvement in the preparation and filing of state court collection complaint was an invasion of a substantive right sufficient for Article III standing. Therefore, judgment re-entered against debt collection law firm.

    Boucher v. Financial. Systems of Green Bay, Inc., 880 F.3d 362 (7th Cir. 2018)

    The use of previously-approved safe harbor language in collection letter did not protect collector when that language was not accurate with respect to the facts. (Orally argued)

    Levins v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Grp. LLC, 902 F.3d 274 (3d Cir. 2018)

    Reversed dismissal of FDCPA violation for failure to use collector’s true name in voicemail messages left to collect a debt. (Orally argued)

    New Century Fin. Servs., Inc. v. Oughla, 437 N.J. Super. 299 (App. Div. 2014)

    In combined appeals, the court set forth standards for a debt-buyer’s threshold evidence when moving for summary judgment to shift the burden to the defendant to come forward with conflicting evidence to defeat the motion. The court held there was sufficient evidence in one appeal and not in the other. (Orally argued)

    Panico v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 879 F.3d 56 (3d Cir. 2018)

    Delaware statute tolling its limitations period on claims against defendants outside of Delaware did not apply in lawsuit brought in non-Delaware court against a non-Delaware defendant who was amendable to service of process in the chosen forum notwithstanding enforcement of contractual selection of Delaware law. (Orally argued)

    Prospect Funding Holdings LLC v. Breen, -- F. App’x --, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35199, 2018 WL 6601131 (3d Cir. Dec. 14, 2018)

    Personal injury attorney, who signed acknowledgment of client’s agreement with a “litigation funding” company, had collateral estoppel defense against company when, in a prior lawsuit in a different court, the agreement was held to be unenforceable in violation of usury and champerty.

  • Professional and Community Involvement
    • National Association of Consumer Advocates, Member
    • American Bar Association, Member
    • New Jersey Bar Association, Consumer Protection Law Committee, Member
    • Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Newark Legal Advice and Resource Clinic for Consumers, Volunteer Attorney
    • International Association of Lions Clubs, Volunteer (District Governor in 2009-2010)
Have you been contacted by a debt collector? Are you in need of reliable information and sound advice? Are you confused as to where to even start?

At Stern•Thomasson LLP, we are here to help consumers enforce their right to fair debt collection practices by being a resource for useful materials and providing our legal expertise to you to protect your rights, helping you to navigate through the rough water that is your current financial situation.

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  • Nearly 60 Years of Combined Legal Experience

  • Client-Oriented, Results Driven Representation

  • Well Respected in the Legal Community

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