Business sues man on life support to recover loan
A Bronx landlord clinging on to life thanks to COVID-19 has been slapped by two lawsuits over a high-interest $23,000 loan he was forced to take out during the tied rent moratorium to the pandemic, according to a new lawsuit.
Loan company Premier Capital Funding LLC is tracking Jeffrey Schneider – who is on life support – to repay $58,000 for the loan he took out in May through his company Remie Realty Corp., according to court documents filed by Schneider’s wife.
Schneider, the owner of a rent-controlled building in the Bronx, demanded the $23,000 lifeline when his struggling tenants stopped paying their rent, according to the court filing.
He managed to repay $25,000 of the total roughly $35,000 he owed on the high-interest loan before the coronavirus killed him.
“This debt which began with the merchant [Remie] receiving $23,000 has now exploded into an $85,000 debt,” Schneider family attorney Ashlee Colonna Cohen told the Post. “He’s already paid $25,000 for it and they keep asking for more.”
Schneider’s wife, Cindy Schneider, said the virus left him “on a ventilator and extracorporeal support (ECMO machine),” according to an affidavit filed last month.
Jeffrey – who is fully vaccinated – is “fighting to [his] life,” his family said through Colonna Cohen.
The New Jersey resident has fallen several times during the pandemic as the state’s eviction moratorium has allowed many of his tenants to stop paying rent, leaving him without any recourse and “severely hampering [his company’s] ability to generate income,” the wife’s affidavit explains.
Cindy said she was unaware that her beleaguered husband was ‘looking for extremely high-interest, short-term loans called ‘merchant cash advances’ to deal with the shortage of funds’ – including one from Premier Qu he would have to repay $35,750 under the settlement, according to the court document.
Jeffrey came down with COVID-19 in early November and landed in the hospital on November 7, where he has remained since, the affidavit states. He was placed on life support on November 29 – and Premier filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court two days later when his payments stopped.
The family offered to pay off the remaining $11,000 in debt “in one lump sum and they still rejected it.” They wanted their fees,” Colonna Cohen said.
Cindy is now asking a judge to set aside a Jan. 4 default judgment that Premier obtained for $38,000 against Jeffrey as he is “incapable, disabled and unable to protect his interests or appear in this action” and since he reportedly received only a subpoena. via email that Cindy did not see at the time, the affidavit states.
Cindy says she didn’t find out about the default judgment until Jan. 10, when a check she had written to an employee of Remie Realty bounced because Premier had frozen all of her husband’s personal and business accounts for recover the $38,000. An additional $5,000 is expected to be collected from the city marshal’s office due to the premier’s levy on the accounts, according to court documents.
Premier also filed a second lawsuit against Remie in Manhattan Supreme Court for an additional $20,000 under the same loan. Colonna Cohen says she is considering filing papers seeking to overturn the judgment that was also filed in this case.
Colonna Cohen called the second case, which was filed two days after the Brooklyn one, a “double dipping” and accused the company of filing it in another county “to avoid being detected as a double judgment.” .
Meanwhile, Remie Realty has closed and Cindy is “unable to pay Jeffrey’s medical bills and attorney fees” – in addition to the bills, utilities and payroll he owes as a owner, says the affidavit.
“I implore the court to reverse the levy, rescind the restrictions on the accounts and order the Prime Minister to compensate the defendants for all sums taken under the default judgment,” the affidavit reads.
New York law does not allow default judgments against incapable persons and Premier was supposed to notify the judge when he found out about Jeffrey’s condition, Colonna Cohen wrote in court documents.
“Instead of ceasing collection activity, and notifying the court of [Jeffrey’s] inability[Premier]immediately obtained the default judgment amount of the levy from the New York City Marshal,” Colonna Cohen said in her filing.
“They are fully aware that Jeff is in this condition,” the attorney told the Post.
A lawyer for Premier did not respond to a request for comment.