Credit Card Processing, Legal, Scams and Fraud

Northern Leasing Systems Lawsuit, Scams, and Review

by Ben Dwyer

Northern Leasing Systems is garbage. It defies logic that a company with a reputation as horrendous as Northern Leasing is still in business. It shouldn’t be.

The company’s culture is defined by a well-documented history of rampant scams, fraud, lawsuits, and even being sued in federal court for racketeering.

Here’s a piece of advice if you’re thinking of leasing a credit card machine from Northern Leasing – don’t.

Update: Subsequent to the June 2020 proceeding, the Office of the Attorney General brought another case upon learning that Northern Leasing had created new entities (called NLS Equipment Finance and Leasing Expenses Company) to continue the same tactics that they had been sued for and barred from by the courts.

In 2021, New York AG Letitia James won again, this time permanently blocking both NLS Equipment Finance and Leasing Expenses companies from “engaging in fraudulent practices and enforcing fraudulent equipment leases that were rescinded pursuant to a June 2020 court order” according to a press release on the NY Attorney General’s website.

Update: On June 9, 2020 the New York Attorney General won a court victory against Northern Leasing that vacates nearly 30,000 judgments and permanently bans Northern Leasing from engaging in the practice of leasing equipment. The company has been ordered to dissolve.

I’m proud to say that I had a small level of participation in the victory against Northern Leasing by advising the New York Attorney General’s office about its unscrupulous and fraudulent tactics.

If you’re a resident of New York that has been grappling with Northern Leasing, there’s a good chance you’re finally free of this wretched company. If you haven’t been notified, follow up with the New York AG to inquire about the status of your judgement with Northern Leasing.

Given that Northern Leasing has been ordered to dissolve by the courts, this information may no longer be accurate. That said, as the second case brought by the New York AG indicates, there may always be other companies cropping up doing the same thing. We’re leaving this here for historical purposes, even though Northern Leasing by that name may end up ceasing to operate.

The Reality of Leasing

Before I get into the underbelly of leasing, I want to take a moment to outline the true economics of leasing a credit card machine to show just how crazy it is.

It’s all in the numbers, and these seedy leasing companies know it.

A credit card machine costs roughly $300-$400 to purchase, and that’s the price for a fancy new machine that’s EMV compliant. An equipment lease from a company like Northern Leasing, Ladco leasing, or any of the other crooks will cost about $60 a month for 48 months, which is a staggering $2,880.

You’d pay ten times more to lease a machine than you would have paid to purchase it.

These companies know they’re selling garbage, so they use high-pressure and even illegal tactics. Northern Leasing Systems is the poster child for this predatory industry.

Scams, Fraud, and Forgeries

Northern Leasing’s scam allegedly begins with forgery when a sales representative signs a lease agreement on behalf of a business, as described in this news article where the sales rep is accused of using a picture of a business owner’s signature to execute a lease agreement.

From there, Northern Leasing ups the ante by using the bogus lease agreements. That allows it to deduct money from unsuspecting victims’ bank accounts.

If a business closes its account and refuses to pay, Northern Leasing files a civil lawsuit against the business in an attempt to collect the manufactured debt. In fact, the aforementioned news article notes that, “There are so many cases, New York’s Civil Court has set aside two judges to only hear Northern Leasing lawsuits.”

Not only is Northern Leasing defrauding small businesses, but it’s also getting tax payers in New York to foot the bill for part of its scheme in the form of two full-time judges.

Northern Leasing 2004 Class Action Lawsuit

In 2004, the law firm Chittur & Associates brought a class action lawsuit against Northern Leasing that claimed Northern Leasing engaged in a “fraudulent scheme to entrap small businesspersons into leases for small business equipment (mostly credit card machines) with undisclosed charges and onerous terms.”

The suit was commenced in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York. Northern Leasing lost the first court battle, with the court noting “…defendants engaged in a course of conduct throughout the United States with such wanton dishonesty as to imply a criminal indifference to civil obligations.”

Northern Leasing appealed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York where the original verdict was upheld.

Northern Leasing then appealed to New York’s highest court — the Court of Appeals. Believe it or not, The United States Chamber of Commerce came to the aide of Northern Leasing. In fact, the Chamber filed an amicus on its behalf. That certainly seems a little odd.

Despite the best efforts of The United States Chamber of Commerce, Northern Leasing lost its appeal. However, during the course of Northern Leasing’s appeals, the class action suit lost certification.

Northern Leasing lost several appeals and was verbally berated by the courts. However, it somehow still managed to emerge from proceedings without paying a dime in damages and with the apparent endorsement of The United States Chamber of Commerce.

Northern Leasing 2013 lawsuit – it finally pays

The next lawsuit against Northern Leasing came to a head on March 7, 2014 and seemed to pick up where the class action suit left off, but this time Northern Leasing didn’t come out unscathed.

This suit alleged that Northern Leasing Systems and its affiliates siphoned over $3.6 million from the accounts of small businesses in a scheme that was poised to siphon another $7 million before it was stopped.

In addition to paying $575k to the State of New York, Northern Leasing and its accomplices agreed to refund $3.6 million to the small businesses that it defrauded.

The settlement also bars Northern Leasing from going after the remaining $7 million it had yet to steal from small businesses.

Attorney General Schneiderman touted the victory as a feather in his office’s cap and said, “This settlement sends a clear message that deceptive business practices will not be tolerated in New York.”

However, Northern Leasing hasn’t stopped its deceptive practices. Complaints about the company engaging in the same tactics continue to surface.

Northern Leasing 2015 lawsuit – Racketeering

Chittur & Associates, which is the same law firm that brought the class action suit against Northern Leasing in 2004, is suing the company again. This time the accusation is one of racketeering.

The same firm also has another motion for class certification that is pending.

CardFellow’s home state of Connecticut is the latest to investigate Northern Leasing Systems. The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office and Department of Consumer Protection have both received a number of complaints about Northern Leasing. Currently, both are conducting an active investigation.

Northern Leasing 2016 Lawsuit – Misrepresentation

New York and Northern Leasing are going at it again. The state Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against Northern Leasing. According to NBC New York, the lawsuit alleges that Northern Leasing misrepresented terms of its leases, including contract length. Northern Leasing denies the allegations.

The New York lawsuit is not a class action suit. Therefore, the NY Attorney General advises that businesses don’t need to do anything in regards to the lawsuit. However, the AG stresses that if Northern Leasing sues you, do not ignore it. The office strongly advises you to contact a lawyer for advice about your specific lawsuit or other legal documents. If you’re unsure if you have a judgment against you from Northern Leasing in the state of New York, you can contact the Civil Court Clerk’s office for more information.

2017 Update

In December 2017, LegalNewsLine reported that New York has adequately alleged fraud against Northern Leasing according to the New York Supreme Court, and that Attorney General Schneidermann intends to continue the lawsuit.

Protect Yourself & Your business

At CardFellow, we help small businesses find honest, truly competitive credit card processing companies every day. We hear first-hand about the unethical practices that are employed in this industry. Unfortunately, equipment leasing is one such practice and seems very difficult to eradicate.

Don’t lease credit card equipment. Northern Leasing Systems and any other leasing company is not operating with your best interests in mind. They’re operating to take your money.

Don’t engage any sales people that are attempting to lease you a credit card machine. Don’t show a salesperson your signature, processing statements, or any other documentation that will allow them to learn about your business.

Treat them like the crooks they are and send them packing.

Who to Contact for Assistance

If you’ve had contact from Northern Leasing, it’s extremely important that you don’t ignore judgments and other legal documents. You may wish to contact your state Attorney General’s office, or a licensed attorney. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations and can provide you with information specific to your situation. If you need help start by contacting your state’s Attorney General or bar association. .

Attorney General contacts

*Bar associations with an asterisk indicate on their contact info page that they may not be able to provide assistance to the public regarding specific legal issues. You can optionally visit their websites for links to relevant offices that may be able to assist you.

145 thoughts on “Northern Leasing Systems Lawsuit, Scams, and Review”

    1. Hi Claudia,
      Sorry to hear of your issues with Northern Leasing! There are a few states that are investigating Northern Leasing – at least New York and Connecticut. It might be worth your time to contact your state’s attorney general. Other than that, your best bet is to speak with a licensed attorney. Unfortunately lots of people have trouble with Northern Leasing, and it’s in your best interest to get official legal advice. Good luck!

    2. I have the same problem as you do and they are now saying that they will put a charge off on my credit; can they do that? Did they do that to you?

    3. Got contact with attorney; we can get a new class action lawsuit going with enough people. Check facebook if you want to contact me if they won’t let you on here.

      1. I was also taken in by an agent of Northern ‘Fleacing’ – (Nova Merchants – Charlotte, NC) very interested in joining a civil suit. I have already filed a complaint with NY attorney general office, and have been told the NY AG office is pursuing Northern Fleacing AGAIN in 2016.

  1. We got a sign from Signtronix and Northern was the leasing system they use. Don’t deal with Signtronix as long as they use this business. They will not stand by what they agree in the onset. They will not defend you with Northern either. Northern just stole over $700 from our bank account and tried to get $400 more but the bank caught them and reversed. We paid off the sign and wrote in as required to stop the lease and do the final buy out and they are still billing us and trying to take money from our account by changing names and numbers to get them past the bank. Have just changed our account but still need to get back the money and stop the billing. They will not answer our calls or try to work with us. We are a small business a family ran one with a single mother of 5. Can’t afford to be robbed like this please help!!!!

      1. I need to be included in a class action suit against Northern Leasing. They are trying to take me to court. I need this to start immediately.

        Chris K.

        1. Chris,

          Have you found a lawyer that is doing a class action suit against Northern Leasing Systems? We would loved to be included too.

          Please let me know.

      2. I am being hounded by Northern Leasing Systems to pay the required monthly fee ($125 x 60 months) for two credit card processing terminals that have been returned to them. They keep calling and threatening to take me to court in NY city for this payment I refuse to pay.

      3. I also have been scammed by Ironwood and Northern Leasing in December 2015. I live in Massachusetts. The sales rep said she was mislead and no longer sells for the company. They sold us a flat rate of $500.00 per month with a credit card percentage rate of .99%. Come to find out the two costs have nothing to do with one other. The $500.00 per month is a 4 year non cancel-able lease through Northern Leasing. Ironwood was also charging an average of 3.2% on credit card charges. We did not sign a contract – there is a signature but it was not mine. I stopped using their machines and services within the first month once I discovered they are scam artist and VERY misleading.

      4. Hi Sharon,
        I am interested in being included in this class action lawsuit against Northern Leasing Systems. My husband and I have a furniture store in Grass Valley, Ca. and got a fraudulent sales pitch which involved a lease. Has this happened yet, and if not, what is the procedure and requirements??

      5. Hi, are you in the United States or Canada? I live in Canada – wondering if there is a lawsuit against Northern leasing here.

  2. I am speaking to an attorney and he is interested in speaking with the others. So If anyone wants to join let me know!!!!!

    1. I was dealing with Ironwood payments and Northern Leasing is who they used for the Verifone VX520 machines. IronWood payments is a fraud also – they have bad customer service people at the offices, I called over a dozen time to reach someone that could help me with my account. They always say that person is in a meeting or on another call and will have them call you back, but no one ever calls back. If you’re a retailer that accepts CC or debit cards do yourself a favor and don’t use Ironwood Payments. Back to Northern Leasing they continue to debit my account $378.80 on the 1st of every month for a service that I don’t even have or use.

    2. Some months after I began working in the office at my current job, I noticed that Northern Leasing Systems was taking money out every month. So I asked my bosses about it, they didn’t know who the company was. I called our bank, and they didn’t know who they were but was able to find a phone number. After I called NLS they said that my company has been leasing a credit card machine from them for years. I said that’s impossible because the only credit card machine we’ve ever had was directly from our bank, there was no sublease on it. She was really mean and rude and we eventually ended the call. My bosses then contacted the bank and had a block put on NLS so they couldn’t take any more of our money. The next month NLS called us and was super pissed about that. I told them we’re not paying them and not going to let them draw money from our bank account anymore. For over a year now we’ve been sporadically getting letters saying we owe them a bunch of money and if we don’t pay within 10 days then they’re taking us to court. They haven’t taken us to court yet.
      By the way, we’re in South Carolina, so somehow they made it down here.

    3. Blue Ginger Gallery, Kealakekua, Hi.

      I don’t know if I am too late, although I would like to join because they are not an honest company and they appear to be screwing many folks with small businesses out there.

    4. Fredda Stevenson

      I also was lied to and scammed. I paid them for almost 2 years and most of that time for faulty equipment. When we could no longer get the equipment to function our real nightmare began. I returned it for repair and never received a replacement, they continued to bill me and informed me that I owed $8,000 on the lease. I never signed anything with this company, the processing company (First Data) said they supplied the machines. Northern sent me the copy of this lease (not signed by me). I would never have signed such a thing. Count us in. I did pay them $6,000 to settle as it would have cost me near that much to fight it.

  3. Riverside Payments Inc. came to my business and I signed up for credit card processing. Riverside is acting on behalf of Northwest Leasing. Riverside has never delivered on getting me up and running to take credit cards. Riverside has involved Northwest Leasing in our deal and now Northwest is debiting my bank account even though I have never taken a single credit card. I have communicated to Riverside but they never follow through. Northwest Leasing tells me it is not their problem and I need to pay for the equipment even though it does not work.

    Northern Leasing is basically a fraudulent company stealing my money, my time, and peace.


  4. I accidently typed in on my previous comment “Northwest Leasing” Probably because I live in the northwest. My apologies to Northwest Leasing if they exist. The actual company is Northern Leasing.

  5. Good day,

    Can you tell me if you have started a new Class Action Suit for Northern Leasing Systems?
    I have been calling this company for ever, I always get an answering machine that states someone will call me back. Today I just got a letter of Final Demand for $8,300.73 , for two terminals that we never used or ever needed, that we were forced to take.

    1. I am very interested as well. They have taken so much from us for nothing and are now threatening us with the bill going higher and higher.

    2. I am very interested please contact me through my email. I have been closed for almost two years, I thought this problem was resolved. However this company figured that it was getting close to their statute of limitations they would go for my personal account for $8800. Keep in mind I have had no contact with these people till 3 weeks ago. I returned their terminal and still have the receipt because I sent it certified – that requires a signature. Long story short, my accounts are frozen, I have my living expenses coming out, now I am getting NSF charges and overdraft charges. I contacted their attorney, they gave a number to contact Northern Leasing collections department. Of course no answer. I am in the process of contacting their attorney and doing some background on their firm, so if they want to be associated with this racketeering then I think they need to be part of this lawsuit and be reported as well. If there is anyone interested in taking on this case please email. Meanwhile I will continue to send out all of these complaints and do more research to hopefully close the door and have the founder himself have his assets frozen.

    3. Bung On Rivers

      On Tuesday April, 12th they froze my personal account for over $8000. I have not heard from them in about 3 years , received a letter from an attorney on March 20th, 2016 about calling their office. WI received no answer and left a message. I returned the terminal and spoke to a representative and cancelled them in Oct. 2009. My personal account is my only means to pay my living expenses. Thought I was finished with them. I keep hearing about a Court Order that my bank states they have but no one will produce a copy of that for me and also why have I not received a copy of it prior?

    4. This happened to me too!! I have 4 machines that I have never used!!!! Ive already paid these crooks almost $10,000. How do I join in the fight against sueing them??

  6. I have been scammed by Ironwood and Northern Leasing. Ironwood hds me sign the lease for 48 months. Count me in for class action. I need some help, can’t let those scammers get what they want.

  7. Please add me to the list on the class action law suit. Northern Leasing withdrew over $400.00 and when I called for an explanation they could not provide one. I called 4 times and got no answers so I returned their equipment registered mail with signature required and canceled their access to my bank account. I have received many nasty letters for the last year.

  8. Please add me to the list on the class action law suit for Northern Leasing. I already returned the equipment and they charging me.

    1. Sharon Caudell

      I need to be added to the list also. Northern Leasing is charging me $4600.00 for equipment that I could purchase for less than $500.00. Besides that I already have updated equipment and I told them that they could have reprogrammed mine. Instead they would rather steal than conduct business honestly. They can sue me, turn me over to collections, whatever, I am 63 years old with liver disease. Nothing they can do will ever get another dime out of me!

  9. I’ve never been thoroughly disgusted by any company’s self righteousness in my whole entire life. I called in to asked who was calling and their telephone rep seemed nervous and couldn’t wait to connect me to someone else. When you call they don’t even state the name of their business on their recorded messages. So one can only conclude they operate under many names. Why? Creative tax purposes? To confuse people? You never know who you are dealing with, or who you’re supposed to contact for an amicable resolution. They have their scam down. They don’t resolve anything. Send you 2 letters, before they send you to collections and call you 3 times a day until you pick up. I hope they all get stripped of their business license and anyone who helped write these god awful contracts or encourages them to go to suit get stripped of their law license as well. There is just way too victims for the people to be wrong.

  10. Same story as the many I just read above. The company that got me was Smart Choice Credit Card services. We had their services for a year where we paid nothing per month for the lease. They told us we needed the new high security machine that would accept the chip cards and we would be paying less per month. Come to find out they hooked us up in a lease for five years and Northern Leasing is charging us over $190 per month for five years. Not once was a lease agreement mentioned. I sent the machine back and I am starting to get the threatening letters. The machine they sent was the same machine that I originally had and the new machine did not work. I would like to be included in any law suit.

      1. Penny Hakian/ Escentials

        Please include me in any lawsuit as well. We are dealing with lowlifes and scammers. I’m in California.
        Thank you.

  11. Blue Ginger Gallery, Kealakekua, Hi.

    Please add me onto the lawsuit against Northern Leasing Systems regarding their contract. I returned their equipment a year ago and they are still billing me and calling me saying they are going to sue me if I don’t give them $1700.00 to settle with their ridiculous contract…


    Please count me in on the lawsuit. I have paid them $82.00/month the last 8 years. I have asked why they didn’t stop but no answer. So count me in.

    1. They have been charging me $50.16 a month for over 2 years. I have tried to call them and they are rude and ugly. I am moving so I am sending the machine back and they can do whatever with it. NEVER SIGN A LEASE WITH THESE GANGSTERS.

      1. Jody, where are you returning it. I would love to send my unopened machine back but don’t have an address.

  13. Tijie Fontana

    I would like to be added to the Class Action Suit. After paying my full amount via bank withdrawal over 2 years ago; I just received a letter saying I owe $1,685.67. Unbelievable!!!!!

    1. I would like to get in on the lawsuit as well. Northern Leasing has just frozen my account for over $8500. I got involved with them through Global Data Specialists. This has been a nightmare. I have been going through this with them for over 2 years. I have police reports from my county as well as from Lewisville, Texas where Global Data Specialists operating from only to find out it was a PO Box at a UPS store. I am in the process of contacting an attorney as well. Maybe if we all get together, we can get these guys. Is anyone interested in going in together to go after these people? If so, please reply to this post.

      1. I will, I never even received the equipment to lease. But of course they are still trying to take money and have taken monthly payments until I closed my business and bank account. One of the lawyers actually told me not to call his number anymore. He was very rude, I was just stating the fact that I never received any equipment from them. I am from Kansas, just let me know what I need to do.

  14. Hello there,

    My name is Payton and I ran a landscaping business while I was in high school. Long story short, this was before the Square credit card processors came out and I searching for a credit card terminal because although I was young my business was making close to 6k per month and this company lied to me over the phone saying that I could cancel the contract any time and that I had a 6 month free trial as long as I agreed to pay a higher rate per card swipe. In blissful ignorance I signed the contract and I have been stuck paying close to 75 a month for almost 4 years. I later sold my business to go to college at Georgia Tech and I don’t know what to do or if I should keep paying these crooks or not. So far they have hit me with biannual fees of 65 totaling in 130 per year and a noncompliance fee of 25 per month for 6 months totaling at 150. Am I entitled to a law suit and how to I put an end to this madness?

    1. Hi Payton,
      I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles. Northern Leasing usually pursues small businesses pretty aggressively, so the best thing to do is to consult a licensed attorney. You can also contact the Attorney General for your state for further help specific to your local laws and situation. Good luck!

  15. I was reading the AG lawsuit. Here is my question to anyone who took a lease. Did anyone who actually works at Northern Leasing hand you the lease to sign or was it a sales rep from a local company? If it was a sales rep whose only affiliation to Northern is they use them to fund their deals, then how is Northern responsible for you signing the lease? Did anyone from Northern force you to sign the lease? If the local sales rep, who does not work for Northern sold you a bill of goods, how is that Northern’s fault? If you didn’t sign it, can you prove that it is a forgery? If you did sign the contract, did Northern do anything to collect the debt outside of their contract? Plus, did anyone who works for Northern tell you that you can’t read the lease agreement before signing it? What I don’t understand is how people blame Northern yet all they did was agree to fund the deal and look to collect the debt owed under the contract. If you didn’t read the contract then it is your fault. Or if you didn’t do your homework and realized the difference in the cost from buy to lease then that is also your fault. If you do have a beef it is really with the company that actually presented the lease to you and not Northern.

    1. Zachary

      Dear Mother Lizzy or whoever you are, you are right the problems is not with Northern but with its operatives. Sure… But what about all the phony signatures on your contracts, what the fake names you used to withdraw from the banks, what about the grand conspiracy scheme of charging $15,000 for some worthless machines that people did not want or used. You charged 1,500% fee on your useless equipment that you did not repair or took care of. Your behavior even if you can manipulate the courts with your contacts and liaisons may protect you but there are thousands out there that disagree with you strongly, very strongly. Here in America and Canada and who knows where else you have messed the name of our country and confidence in doing business. It is a big shame that the US Chamber of Commerce assisted you. They are scams as you are. People are angry and sooner or later justice will reach you Lizzy and your “legal contracts”. The NY DA is determined to bring justice to your door, so do we, your victims.

  16. I did some business with them over 17 years ago and didn’t owe them a penny after I discontinued service, but they now claiming that I owe them $8,856.73. Count me in with any help that you may need.

    1. Who do I contact? I received a letter from these crooks claiming I owed money in amount of
      $7434.53 but they will settle for $1371.90. I never had a lease with this company.


    I received a letter from a business from 1998. Can you believe it, they say they will make a settlement. Give me a break. Machine not even used. A closed business. They never give up. I told them to bring it on and send me the documents they have.

  18. August 11th, 2016

    I Met with Anna, (an Elevon Representative) on August 18th, 2015. We discussed the Elavon POS system agreement at length. I was assured there would be no extra charges of any kind aside from the $50 dollars a month service fee and the 2% transactions fee. The POS equipment was listed as a CT 220 and was included within the contract as purchased for $0 dollars.

    I have now noticed a fee being debited to my business bank account for an additional $57.43 per month for the past 10 months. The name of the company was not listed on the statement, only “Equipment Lease/Purchase”. Upon contacting my bank I learned the name of the company debiting the account was Northern Leasing Systems. I contacted Elavon immediately and asked them if they did business with Northern Leasing Systems. The representative said “no”, and that he had never heard of Northern Leasing Systems. I asked how a separate company could have access to my banking information and be charging me $57.43 per month that I did not authorize. They replied that I would have to take it up with the company.
    My banking information had never been given to anyone but Elavon and I did not sign a lease agreement for a POS system through Northern Leasing as my contract with Elevon included the purchase of the CT 220 POS system for $0 dollars.

    I had my original contract with Elavon in front of me while we spoke and was referring to it through the course of the conversation.

    I told the representative of Elavon I was putting a stop payment and closing my account as my banking information was private and confidential and Elavon sharing the information with Northern Leasing was the same as Elevon stealing from my account. The monthly charges were 100% unauthorized. My agreement was with Elavon and not Northern Leasing Systems.

    The Elavon representative (Calvin) then emailed me a document titled “Non-Cancelable Equipment Finance Lease Agreement”. It had Northern Leasing Systems (NLS) letterhead and an Edmonton address. The document (attached) had been written in the same handwriting as my contract with Elavon and been dated the same day, (Aug.18.2015). The document contained my name and phone number, my business name and address, and business banking banking information. The document listed a lease schedule for $45/month for 48 months for a POS CT 220. My name was printed at the bottom with a signature next to it that was a very loose interpretation of what my signature actually looks like. It was not my signature. I had never seen the document before it was emailed to me from the Elavon.

    Upon speaking with Calvin’s supervisor I learned that he was not suppose to have sent me the document. When I asked why, she replied that it was private and if I had an issue with Northern Leasing I was to take it up with them.

    My signature on this document is a forgery. The monthly debits from my business account (in the amount of 57.43 per month) are unauthorized. I did not agree to an equipment lease or enter into any sort of agreement with Northern Leasing Systems, either in writing of verbally.

    I’m in for a class action in Canada.

  19. I just found out I have a Judgment showing on my credit report from Northern Leasing suing me for over $6,000. Back in 2007 one of their salesman opened an office near me and tried to get me to sell the systems, I was in sales and thought it may be good business. Never did anything with them though because I went to his office the next week and couldn’t get ahold of him and later found out the guy was in jail. Thought nothing of it until I tried to get a mortgage loan recently and discovered the judgment on my credit report. Trying to figure out what to do to get it removed. They even refiled it in 2013 to make sure it stays on the report.

  20. Received a “Demand for Payment” from NLS. for a $700 worth of credit card equipment, they want me to pay them $10,304.78. They now have the collection agency calling and harassing of court litigation. What should I do?

    1. Hi Dennis,
      Unfortunately we can’t advise on legal matters like that, but don’t ignore it. Consider consulting an attorney in your area – many offer an initial consultation for low or no cost. You can also try contacting your state’s Attorney General’s office. There are a few states that have pending investigations into Northern Leasing, and even if your state doesn’t, they may be able to offer more advice for next steps. Good luck, and keep us updated!

  21. Also interested in joining a class action suit. I live in Florida and got scammed by Northern Leasing. Getting threatening calls stating I owe over $11,000 even though the machines were returned back in January. Caller claims to be working for the law firm that represents Northern Leasing and if I didn’t pay before 3pm they would be reporting to the credit bureau and filing a lawsuit in NY. He actually started yelling at me and calling me stupid for not settling now, that Northern leasing has been doing this for years and can’t be beaten in court. He didn’t know that I recorded the conversation. Count me in the class action. NY Attorney’s office has filed a suit again against NL, but I don’t know where it’s at. I sent a question to them asking if an injunction has been filed to stop any further law suits against small businesses, but haven’t got a reply yet.

    1. I have been threatened & harassed by NLS since 2002 and they won’t give up. They raided my store business account and I had to close it to stop that. My husband was diagnosed w/brain cancer and my business was never opened. He died 8 years later after 3 major operations. I returned everything credit card related, told them the business never opened and I never used the equipment.
      Yet they continued harassment. I got 2 letters today and I’m going to do them like all the others, tear them up and put in trashcan. I pay every bill I owe but these thieves should be stopped by someone!

  22. They have been harassing me since 2008. I sent back the machine and told them I sold my business and did not need their services. I am still getting letters saying I owe over $1000 when I never end owed them to begin with and the have a judgment they say, called them today and they want $700 to settle
    What should I do?
    Can I get on this lawsuit?

    1. Hi, me too; ran 1 sale with their crap. Returned all equipment, now they sent me notice they are suing me. Where do I sign up?

      1. We are experiencing the same issues as all parties involved with Northern Leasing, would like to be included in the class action lawsuit against this scam outfit!!!

  23. It’s great that the AG in New York is going after Northern Leasing and other names it is using. But what do we specifically do in Canada? I did fill in the form to the AG in New York and got a (hopeful) standard email back. I have also contacted BBB, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), the AG of Canada, my MLA and my MP. Gotten sympathy, but nothing specific. Not sure how to get the RCMP involved. I have a small business and can’t afford huge attorney bills. Maybe I can’t afford not to, or maybe I should just pay the $5000 NL says I owe them. This company and its affiliates need to be stopped. If your interested my story goes like this.
    July 25 2014 a sales rep, Stephen Wolski, from Collective Point of Sales came into our store. They are owned by Elavon Inc., a processor of credit card transactions and a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. He spoke to my business partner at the front of the store. I was in the back office. My partner knew how hard I had worked to get a credit card processing company with no contracts or leases. I read many 90 page Terms and Agreements to find one that would partner with us with no contracts or leases. I had settled on Helcim Canada (who apparently is also owned by Elavon) and I was happy with them. Stephen assured my partner there were no contracts or leases. He said he was covering his territory in Vancouver to offer better discount rates for credit card acceptance from customers because his competition was getting fierce. At this time, up until April 19 2015, my business was a Sole Proprietorship in my name. It is a small business started at the end of 2012.
    My partner sent him to see me in the back. Before he sat down, I told him I would never sign with anyone requiring a contract or a lease. He said that he would not do that. So he pulled out these forms with fill in the blank discount rates and fees etc. He seemed like a nice guy and we talked through everything. The fees were better than we were paying, so I thought this was a good deal. I have to admit, I only skimmed through the documents. So my signature is in a few places.
    There are actually two documents; one for discount rates (for which there was no contract), and one for the use of a credit card processing machine. I really only paid attention to the discount rates. I should have paid more attention to the credit card processing machine section which was from Northern Leasing.
    This guy was slick. He left without giving me a copy. I can’t even tell you why. He definitely did not present two copies of the documents for me to sign, so I could have one. We didn’t have a scanner or fax machine in the store, so we couldn’t make copies any way.
    I emailed him on July 8, 2014 and asked him to send me a copy of what I had signed. He emailed it to me and to my surprise at the beginning of the section on the Credit Card Processing Machine from Northern Leasing was, in a big bold font, “NON CANCELABLE EQUIPMENT FINANCE LEASE AGREEMENT”. Had I seen that I would not have signed the document. I allege that someone, after I signed the documents, added that heading to the document. But how do you prove something like that?
    So I have been stuck with this contract since July 25, 2014 paying $107.80 monthly for the credit card machine. I have been trying since then to find a way that Collective Point of Sales/Northern Leasing have done something /anything in my monthly fees etc. to show the they have caused me a hardship according to the Canadian Code of Conduct. This is all extremely confusing because all these processing companies, banks, card processing companies are all so intertwined.
    I decided to request a copy of my Northern Leasing portion of what I had signed on July 25 2014 from Northern Leasing itself. I emailed the request and in the mail May 20, 2016, it arrived. Much to my surprise, I discovered that in the main box on the first page, two of the entries have been altered. Originally, my company was a Sole Proprietorship in my name. So on the original document that I got from Stephen Wolski, my name appears in the “Legal Name of Lessee” box and the Sole Proprietor check box is ticked off.
    However, in the document that was mailed to me from Northern Leasing, the “Legal Name of Lessee” has been changed to my corporate name and the Corporation check box, to the right is now ticked off. My business didn’t become a corporation until April 19, 2015. The dates on both documents remains July 25,2014. How can one document contain my name as Lessee and on the other my corporate name as Lessee having the same date.
    All of the other information/handwriting is exactly identical between both documents. Someone working for Northern Leasing fraudulently changed my name to the corporate name. I did not sign this document when my business was a corporation. If the documents were exactly the same size, and you overlaid them and held them up to the light, you would see which sections were edited/forged and which were exactly the same as the original.
    Now being able to prove forgery between the documents, I really do believe the heading “NON CANCELABLE EQUIPMENT FINANCE LEASE AGREEMENT” was added to the original document after it left my office.

  24. I live in Orlando of Florida. I was persuaded by NLS’s Rep to use NLS’ credit card machine.
    One month later I found NLS is not good for me at all and returned this machine to NLS for cancelling the service. Then I was sued by NLS without any notice or court date. NLS got a judgment and froze my personal bank account. I just sent my complain to New York Sate attorney general. Hope NLS (Northern Leasing System) will get punishment.

    1. Hi Shannon, we are are Canadian too! We are having problems with Northern Leasing, We are also looking for answers and other people that might have gotten scammed. We would also like to get in on this lawsuit too! Are you from the Windsor area?

      1. I have a small business in Toronto.
        This has been a total nightmare!!
        Between POS Collective, Elavon, & Northern Leasing Company, I was cammed into 2 separate leases for 2 different machines; stuck paying for both machine. How did this happen – I had an associate from Elavon saying my machine was old and they offered to upgrade it. I signed an upgrading form on a tablet, just one!! Weeks later I received a second lease of over 20 pages with my signature on it?!

        I have contact NLS, but they do not care, so now I’m stuck paying for 2 machines. If there is ever any type of lawsuit against these companies here in Toronto, please count me in.

        1. Any further action on Northern Leasing in Canada? It appears they are trying to do the same thing to me.

          1. Hi there. I am in Belleville Ontario Canada. I am also interested in pursuing legal action against this company. I actually never signed their contract, they took my signature and put it on another document.

  25. I fell into the Northern Leasing trap, too. They just froze an amount in my bank account. I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall with them. My business closed in January of 2015 and they continue to harass me. I had no luck trying to resolve this problem with them.
    Count me in for ANY class action lawsuit against Northern Leasing. It’s truly unbelievable this company is getting away with this.

    Thank you.

  26. We have a small business that is a corporation. We also got taken by Northern Leasing. We cancelled and returned their machine. They have been harassing us ever since. Today my mother-in-law called and said that Northern Leasing pulled $4,000 out of her account. She put her son on her account in case something should happen to her. How can they do this? Don’t they at least have to have a judgement against us? Sure hope there is something we can do to get her money back and to get back at that company.

  27. Does anyone have the address to ship equipment back to Northern leasing? We’ve been had too. I just want to get their equipment back to them and get this off my back. I wouldn’t think that the warehouse for shipping the equipment is the same as their fancy corporate office. Thanks for any help.

    1. Hi Bernice,
      You may want to contact Northern Leasing for those details and any other information about ending a contract. It’s important to follow steps correctly in these situations. Good luck!

    2. It doesn’t matter if you ship the equipment back or not, they still continue to bill and will not let you out of the non-cancellable lease. I shipped mine back, had to change my bank account so they would stop taking money. They keep sending love notes in the mail. I sent a nasty one back to them and now apparently they are suing me. I don’t care. They will not get another dime from me and their scam of a contract.

      1. Hi Jenn,
        Northern Leasing is well known for suing clients and former clients, so if they’ve contacted you about that, please be sure to check with a licensed attorney about your rights and responsibilities.

      2. Jenn, please don’t ignore their lawsuit. My lawyer has told me that eventually they will win. I am going to have to pay a NY lawyer $2000 to try to get me out of this. If you ignore their lawsuit, they will make your life a living hell.

  28. Zachary

    March 12, 2017
    I had and returned their 4 machines after paying $10,000. They told me they were with First Data and I had to have 4 machines to be accepted and process with First Data. I never needed them or used them because we are 100% online company. Now they sued me but I have not been serviced yet. These are the crookedest people I have dealt with in my 40 years in business. This also shows how weak our laws and courts are. Even the US Chamber of Commerce supports them! Congratulations to the NY Attorney General for the 2016 lawsuit. Who knows how long it will take.

    If you wish to get together and and find and attorney and file a multi-party lawsuit against them let me know. Maybe it is time. I also joined the NY Attorney General lawsuit of 2016.

    By the way if you are not in NY, the courts recently dismissed the case to be filed in the state of the defendant. But you have to communicate with the Court if you have been sued.

    1. Penny Hakian/ Escentials

      I’m reading everyone’s comments and I am in the midst of this scam as well…what a nightmare.
      I am willing to join.
      I’m in Calabasas, CA.
      Thank you.

  29. So I was scammed into purchasing a sign for my business and Northern Leasing financed it. I went out of business and lost everything, so needless to say they are suing me.

    I called the person from their legal department named Ruben Garcia and he was horrifically rude and mean. He yelled and screamed at me and hung up on me twice. He threatened me several times and tried to use intimidation tactics. Unbelievable! I hope the attorney general give these people swift justice.

    I’m willing to try to resolve my mistake, but what that man just did to me was immature and uncalled for.

  30. Jill Ami Meyers

    Well, this is the Blue Ginger Gallery writing in again.
    I ended up paying Northern Leasing thousands of dollars to get them off my back.
    They still dinged my credit which will stay on my record for years to come, as; ‘not paying up’ even though I did pay them their buy-out which was not realistic.
    Horrible company and folks to deal with… their lawyers wrote a contract which sticks and they have a tough lady to fulfill their requests.
    Never again!
    No aloha there….

  31. I was curious if anyone knew what to do if they have yet to file the suit against me. They have been sending me the final demands of payments and say they will send a lawsuit to come to New York. I live out of state and have a one year old I take care of during the day, so coming up for an entire day to defend myself would be really hard.
    I used their Clover system for about 2 months before trying to cancel since they changed what they promised me in fees. If there is something that I can tell their lawyer to delay the suit or if they file suit to delay any possible court date with the court until after the Attorney General’s suit finishes. I do not want this to hit my credit or freeze any bank accounts attached to me. My lawyers in NC do not have enough advice since they do not have jurisdiction in NY and say I need to talk to someone who knows more about NY laws.

    1. Hi Andre,
      The best thing to do is follow your lawyers’ advice. If they’re suggesting talking to an attorney familiar with NY law, that’s going to be your best course of action. You can try contacting the New York state bar association for referrals. Good luck!

    2. I was scammed 7 years ago and have been fighting them ever since. I’m in Florida so I represent myself in court by phone. I finally got the judgement dropped. They wanted me to sign a statement saying I would not sue or join a class action suit. I refused and told them in front of the judge I’ll hound them until the day I die. The judge liked that and said I could have a script of the hearing if that would help me in my quest to bring them down. They indicated that if I didn’t sign the release that they would keep the judgement as showing unsatisfied on my credit report. More fuel I can use against them.

  32. Northern Leasing is the biggest group of scammers I have ever dealt with. I have asked many times the items to return to end the lease, each time they acted like they did not know what equipment that I need to return. Seth the person I talked to on the phone acts like a carnival carny trying to sell you something you don’t want. I don’t trust these people any further than I could throw them. When I called the cancel my lease, I got lots of “how about renewal” and “how about this item”. I wanted nothing more to do with these guys. Its costs more than other companies for the same stuff. I was new in the business and signed a lease I regretted every day after I did.

  33. I also got scammed by Northern Leasing. I quit using the Credit Card Processing company that is in with Northern Leasing. I called them and was told where to send the credit card machines back. They told me I was still responsible for the remainder of the lease even though they have the equipment back. Now they call me every day and won’s stop bothering me. They should be closed down and put out of business.

    1. Me too. I paid it for 4 years & haven’t used it for 3 of the years. I sent it back 3 months ago. I’m in Ohio. Have you taken any action? I don’t want them to ruin my personal credit.

    2. Same thing happened here, and was told I owed over $8000, not sure what to do now. They are threatening the interest will keep growing.

    3. Small Business in Ohio

      This exact thing happened to us! We had the machine destroyed in fire. We asked about the payout, and they said it was the same if we had to carry on with the lease as if we had it. I told them we no longer had the machine, but they didn’t care. We tried to get the contract copy, but they would never send. They were very rude every time I had to call them. The payments were supposed to stop or be contacted at the end of term, neither happened. They continued to withdraw from our account. We paid thousands for the machine. I stopped withdrawals at the bank, and then they continued to bill and call 1-2 times every day, even on my personal phone. They are crooks, harassing, and extremely rude!!! Should never be able to remain in business!!!

  34. Nabor Saldivar

    Hi there, just like most of you here, I’m in the same situation with this company. Now they tell me they are going to garnish my wages and collect all they can from my bank account. They claim they have a judgment against me but I have never sign any court documents. I live in Texas and been living with this nightmare for more than 3 years now. Count me in for joining a civil suit against them.

    I owed them nothing, equipment has been returned and they want over 6k for breaking contract and other lies.

    1. Hi,
      Count me in. Have not signed any court papers nor received any notices to appear in court and found out this morning that I have a judgement against me from these scum bags.

  35. Victim of NL Crooks

    I don’t know if this is even a realistic list of complaints or just made up. I noticed “Angie Kroening November 14” has multiple entries but they are all on the same date and her one or two sentence reply is almost word for word each time. And it is conveniently entered at just the right spot to make you think she is responding to the previous person’s complaint. I definitely agree that NL is an incredibly deceptive, illegal, scum sucking “company” that should be put out of business, but now I’m wondering about the authenticity of this website.
    And, come on, replies from “Ellen” are ridiculously vague and keep saying the same thing too…”Just do what NL wants and get an attorney.” What kind of help is that???? I realize you can’t give legal advice, but is that all you can say?
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending NL in the slightest as “Ellen on 21st June” is. Made me think she was working for them. Actually, I’ve been a victim too, and I can’t believe NL is still in business considering NY’s various legal decisions against them. If it were reversed and the courts went after some helpless guy doing all the scamming, he would have been stopped immediately. I think the mob would give better protection, with better results, if they were asked to go after these guys.
    As to the person who said she spoke to NL’s attorney who was rude, more than likely it was a debt collector who said they were an attorney, as was my experience. She claimed to be an attorney when I called to make a payment. When I asked for clarification about a Visa payment authorization form she claimed she needed to submit to the Court, she became increasingly rude and argumentative, talked over me when I tried to ask a question, even coming to the point of being threatening, and outright lied! I contacted my attorney, who says he has had the same kind of dealings with her. I would liken her to a b**** from h***!!!

    1. Hi there,
      The comments I see from poster Angie Kroening are not the same comment, and I have no reason to believe they aren’t legitimate. It’s common for some posters to leave multiple comments in reply to others.

      As for “Ellen” – I work for CardFellow (the website this article is on) not for Northern Leasing. As you can tell from this article, we in no way defend Northern Leasing, nor do any of my comments advise to “just do what NL wants.” I’m not sure where you’re seeing any indication of that, especially since advice to retain an attorney is the opposite of just doing what NL wants. An attorney is the only reliable way that a business can sort out their obligations with Northern Leasing and mitigate any damage.

      You’re correct that we’re not able to provide legal advice. When it comes to Northern Leasing, we know that they aggressively pursue small businesses that have signed contracts with them, so we advise businesses not to ignore letters or legal documents from NL and to consult an attorney.

    2. Beverly Mohlman

      I also was scammed by NL, I got letter stating they have a judgement against me from on June 25th 2015 for the amount of $2019.39. This was in New York. How do I get this taken care of? My little cafe has been closed for almost 5 years. I am in Kansas. Please if you can help me, let me know what to do. They are wanting to settle for $1211.63. I am disabled and I do not work and have not worked since closing. I do not have any income. My husband is on SS, very little income.

      1. Hi Beverly,
        I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. I know it’s not ideal, but the best way to handle communication from Northern Leasing is to consult a lawyer. You can also try contacting your state Attorney General and/or the New York state Attorney General. Good luck!

  36. I need help in resolving the robbery from Northern Leasing. It committed crimes in obtaining a court judgment in NY against me, in Hawaii, against the law on jurisdiction. It stole all my money in the bank, and still charged me for the equipment when it was already returned. A junk one costs probably less than $200.

  37. Hello, My name is Sam and I’m in Toronto, Canada and was wondering if First Data and Northern Leasing are affiliated companies because I’ve been getting notices to pay from them eventhough it’s been 3 months since I’ve sold the business.

    I realized that they have been taking out payments from my business account for the last 5 years but ever since I closed that bank account after selling the business, now it’s coming to my house. I haven’t even used their machine for the last 5 years, thinking everything was settled with the company once I switched to another company and told them to cancel my contract.

    What can we do here in Canada? I noticed there’s been class action suits against Northern Leasing and First Data in the U.S but not sure if they are affiliated companies?

    Any advice for us Canadian who have fallen into these companies scams?

    Toronto, Canada

    1. Hi Sam,
      Unfortunately, we don’t have information about how to proceed in Canada. In the US, a company can’t cancel a business’ contract with another company, so if that’s the same in Canada, you may want to check into that. I don’t know if you have offices such as Attorneys General, but if you do, that would be the place I’d suggest calling for assistance. Good luck!

    2. Read your contract, mine had specific instructions on how to close the account. Mine said to close within 10 days of the day when I started on my 4th year. Otherwise you will be on a month-to-month basis. If they have been taking out monies every month, wait till the next month – on the proper date return the machine. Take photos of the serial number on machines, call them and them for return address and correct return date. Document all conversations. Send machine through post office by next day delivery. Be sure to get return receipt; with the overnight delivery, you can get a signature of who signed for the machine and on what date. When I sent my credit card terminal, they never sent my return receipt back, but with overnight delivery, you can get copy of person who signed for it.

      Send a complaint to the New York attorney general.

  38. I will say this…. Read the fine print before signing your name, giving your SS#, and banking information. You provide this information to them and agree to pay. Read your agreement and understand what you sign up for.

    1. Matthew Giblet

      It’s doesn’t matter. They forge your name and the contract doesn’t initially show these agreements.

  39. A merchant sales person came and said all merchant companies go through him and said we had 2 accounts and we’re federally breaking the law. So to get us out of trouble we had to resign a new contract with Northern Leasing – $300 + tax from the original $100 to cover the pay out of the old processor. Basically he said the extra money was like we were borrowing the money from leasing company. So after going back and forth over the phone with a lawyer in NY, 6 months later he calls me back – settle with Northern Leasing who wants $14,000 from my small 2-person business. Lawyer says he had a lot of cases against them and they’ll probably settle for like $7,000. BS I either have to pay lawyer more money to fight them in court (which I’d have to close business to go up there at least 2 times) or pay these scam artists. Just don’t know what to do!

  40. I bought a sign which was to cost me, according to the contract, $2366.00 including the down payment. It ended up costing me $3881.08 with a buyout payment, plus monthly fees that are not legal. I don’t understand how these people are still in business.

    1. Scumbags is too good of a description of the low lifes that run this organization, they all belong in jail. They confiscated over twenty thousand dollars out of checking accounts I had at Wells Fargo and Bank of America. I did get it all back after dealing with New York State Attorney General and the Courts of NY. The cheap machine they sent me never did work I mailed it back to them. They are still trying to collect money from me since 2014. I would rather burn the money then send it to them.

  41. In 2008, I terminated my lease with that lease co. and I returned the machines and paid around $1500.00 for early termination. In October of this year I got a letter saying that I owe $2,303.48 but they can settle for $448.70 if I pay before the 25th of October as full and final payment of my lease. I called in and they told me that I didn’t return the machine. I know I did and I know I paid everything they requested at the time as final. Now 10 years later they want me to pay that amount. I CAN’T FIND DOCS FROM 10 YEARS AGO and they say if I don’t pay that amount, than they don’t settle anymore and I have to pay the original amount. THIS IS CRAZY!!!

  42. My husband was the manager of a company that the owner sold. Northern leasing has been calling, threatening, and sending him letters for three years. He finally got a copy of the contract and it’s not his signature and ss was incorrect. We got a lawyer but they still want $850.00. Can they really do anything since we’re out of state? I’m thinking of counter suing for harassment especially since his signature was obviously forged.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Northern Leasing is known to pursue businesses (even out of state) so definitely don’t assume it will just go away. Talk with your lawyer for specific advice on how to proceed. Good luck!

  43. This company is composed of liars, cheats and thieves. These ******** promised me students could apply for loans using their service. No students were ever granted loans. They lie. I returned the machine to them because what they promised didn’t work. They cheat by saying their contract cannot be cancelled. They are total scumbags.

  44. 24 years ago Northern Leasing started its nightmare scam on me. The company I thought I was dealing with took my terminal to repair and never sent it back. Out of the blue comes Northern claiming I signed contracts with them and when I looked at the documents they were not the ones I signed. The signature was not my handwriting and it was obvious. For the last 24 years they harassed me including threats. I just ignore them and now have recourse to finally get them off my back and credit report. Today (8/23/2019) I received a letter that they would settle for $980.00 of the $4,818.06 that is 24 years old. Good luck everyone.

    1. Nahum Barajas

      Wow, I thought I was the only one going through this! I closed my business down and was also charged $980 and then the $4360 never paid them in 2004 but I just got their collection notice year 2020.

  45. sandra pelletier

    In 2006 my husband owned a business and I had to sign for credit card machine. We went out of business due to an injury. I returned the machines and a year later they’re harassing me for the money. They had a judgement against me because I signed the agreement. I have paid what I could on the bill they have sent me. Then I had them removed off my credit report for 2 yrs and they snuck back on claiming they have a judgement against me with the New York courts for 20 yrs. It’s been since 2006 – 2020. I’m sure they cut their losses with me years ago, but they are still harassing me and I’m divorced and on disability. So after 14 yrs they’re still after money. How sad is that…

  46. Mickey Bufalini

    This company is unbelievable, they have been charging me for 3 years, after we stopped using the machine and returned it. They are now saying I returned a newer machine than was on the lease so i owe 500.00 to buy out the piece of garbage that they had on the lease. I have never had any other machine so the one I returned is the one they gave me…They are horrendous, and the women in customer service told me to sue them, sick my lawyer on them they don’t care. I have never in my life seen anything like this. I just don’t know what to do to shake them off.

  47. Monica Grashuis

    Thank you for your help! This company has harassed me for years. I am finally feeling like this is the end of this nightmare. Thank you again for your involvement in taking them down.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Credit Card Processing exposed

Use the secrets that credit card processors don't want
you to know to drastically lower your credit card
processing fees.

Read Now!

You might also like…

View all articles..