New York’s Fourth Department: Revenue Purchase Agreements Are Not Loans

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A lawsuit brought by Samson MCA LLC against Joseph A. Russo M.D. P.C./IV Therapeutics PLLC, DBA Aspire Med Spa & Joseph Russo & Marco V Beatrice has brought revenue purchase agreements back in to the legal spotlight in New York State. Once again its been affirmed that they’re not loans.

In May 2021, plaintiff Samson MCA sued defendants for breach of contract and won on summary judgment despite defendants’ contentions that the revenue purchase agreements at issue were actually “criminally usurious loans.” Defendant Marco V Beatrice appealed. After a very careful analysis of the agreements, a final decision was issued by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department on August 11, 2023.

“On appeal, [defendant] contends that the agreements are void because they are criminally usurious loans and that the court therefore erred in granting plaintiff’s motion and denying defendants’ cross-motion with respect to him,” the Court stated. “Thus, the central question before us is whether the two agreements were, in fact, revenue purchase agreements or whether they were, instead, loans.”

The Court said that when determining whether a transaction constitutes a loan, courts must determine whether the amount is repayable absolutely or under all circumstances:

“Usually, courts weigh three factors when determining whether repayment is absolute or contingent:
(1) whether there is a reconciliation provision in the agreement;
(2) whether the agreement has a finite term; and
(3) whether there is any recourse should the merchant declare bankruptcy”

Final decision:

Contrary to [defendant’s] contention, plaintiff established as a matter of law that the agreements were revenue purchase agreements rather than loans, and [defendant] failed to raise a triable issue of fact with respect thereto (see Principis Capital, LLC, 201 AD3d at 754). Here, the agreements submitted by plaintiff contained reconciliation provisions requiring the adjustment of the remittance amount upon request based on changes to the entity defendants’ revenues, and had no finite term and no payment schedule. Additionally, as noted, each agreement contained an acknowledgment “that [plaintiff] may never receive the purchased amount in the event that [the entity defendants’ business] does not generate sufficient revenue” and, for the most part, plaintiff did not have recourse in the event that the entity defendants declared bankruptcy (see Streamlined Consultants, Inc. v EBF Holdings LLC, 2022 WL 4368114, *5 [SD NY, Sept. 20, 2022, No. 21-CV-9528 (KMK)]).

We have reviewed [defendant’s] remaining contention and conclude that it does not warrant reversal or modification of the judgment.

The original lawsuit can be found under Index No. 129401/2021 in the New York Supreme Court.

Full decision by the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department can be found here.

Last modified: August 25, 2023
Sean Murray

Category: Legal Briefs, merchant cash advance

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