Basic decency, in the form of NY AG Andrew Cuomo, finally smacks New Jersey’s premiere debt collector Goldman & Warshaw.

With all the other smelly news out about corruption in the State of New Jersey, here comes news out of New York where the Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, named Goldman & Warshaw among the couple dozen Goliath debt collectors who are undermining New York’s civil procedure law. Finally! No one in bought-off New Jersey would touch them.


Seeing Goldman & Warshaw among the list is no surprise. That one firm is responsible for a sizeable amount of Special Civil Part litigation in New Jersey.

And their tactic is pretty nasty. As a law firm, they immediately press the debtor with the threat that unless they come up with a lot of money, there will be a civil action (even if it is at small claims). Like most debtors in our state, if the person isn’t paying, it likely means they can’t pay, for whatever reason, but usually job loss or divorce.

The killer is that Goldman & Warshaw already have the court system gamed.

Because they are mass filers, they have already “educated” the Special Civil Part judges with Goldman & Warshaw’s theories of New Jersey judgment and garnishment law. Since this is assembly line litigation, the judges (who range from affable bumblers to uncaring fat hacks from what I saw) go along with what “GW” asks for. Even if it’s wrong or based on a misinterpretation of the law.

Somerset County’s own Honorable Victor Ashrafi was basically a back office for Goldman & Warshaw throughout the late 1990’s. Without exception, as I understand it, Judge Ashrafi simply approved whatever Goldman & Warshaw requested on behalf of their clients. That was it.

In fact, Ashrafi was supposed to make sure that the judgment was just in light of the facts and the law. And where he REALLY screwed up as a judge and a person, is that New Jersey provided a garnishment system that was based on a means test, with a cap.

So this means, that the state mandated a cap on the amount of wages that a worker could have garnished. But what this idiot did, was interpret that as a MANDATE for what the garnishment must be.

In fact, what a “cap” meant, was that if someone made $200 a week, and the state said no more than 5% could go to a judgment, then any amount UP TO 5% was legal.

But for Ashrafi to make it easy for himself, and lucrative to his buddies at Goldman & Warshaw, he simply made the cap a mandate. I know several people who ended up in bankruptcy because of Judge Ashrafi’s little misreading of the law.

Because Ashrafi is a Democrat, Trenton protected him and I think he has tenure now.

Oh, speaking of Trenton, I think Jon Corzine actually sent some of the state’s business over to these guys a few years ago.

I like Jon Corzine, and I hope he wins. But frankly, he got bad advice when he let Goldman & Warshaw do the state’s business. They really should be cut loose.

Take it from Andrew Cuomo . . .

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