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Mismatched and Mistaken: How the Use of an Inaccurate Private Database Results In SSI Recipients Unjustly Losing Benefits

2021-04-14T15:54:07-05:00April 13, 2021|Categories: Issues|

Potentially thousands of extremely low-income elderly and people with disabilities have had their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits cut off erroneously, bringing many of them to the brink of homelessness. Lax matching standards in LexisNexis Accurint reports used by the Social Security Administration (SSA)  and a lack of independent investigations by SSA staff lead to [...]

Federal COVID-19 Relief for Water & Sewer Bills

2021-04-06T13:02:31-05:00April 6, 2021|Categories: NCLC Utilities & Telecom Blog|

This blog is co-authored by Olivia Wein (National Consumer Law Center) and  Larry Levine (NRDC) For many of us, the accelerating rollout of COVID-19 vaccines provides hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. But the vaccines are still in a race against time, with COVID-19 again resurging in many states. Maintaining access [...]

Protecting Seriously Ill Consumers from Utility Disconnections: What States Can Do to Save Lives Now

2021-02-24T13:55:14-05:00February 23, 2021|Categories: Energy, Utilities & Communications|

State utility commissions set the rules regarding when and how the companies they regulate can terminate vital electric and gas service for non-payment. For households with a seriously ill person, strong rules, as detailed in this report, can mean the difference between life and death.   Report Summary Tables Appendix A: Serious Illness Criteria In [...]

How States Can Help Students Harmed by Higher Education Fraud

2021-01-14T16:04:34-05:00January 14, 2021|Categories: Student Loans|

This National Consumer Law Center report surveys states’ Student Protection Funds (SPFs) and provides a roadmap for how and why all states through the creation or strengthening of SPFs can provide relief to help students recover financial losses caused by school fraud or sudden closure. Report Summary Appendix A: States with Student Protection Funds (SPFs) [...]

States Must Help Protect Vital Utility Service During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic:  Models from Three States

2020-09-17T08:27:53-05:00September 17, 2020|Categories: NCLC Utilities & Telecom Blog|

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the United States, with its accompanying economic shutdown, several states adopted a moratorium on terminations of utility service.  However, in most states that adopted moratoriums, those termination prohibitions have already expired or will within the next few months. Legislators and utility regulators must act now to extend these moratoriums [...]

Residential Electricity Sales: The Early COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Period

2020-07-08T14:23:01-05:00July 8, 2020|Categories: NCLC Utilities & Telecom Blog|

Part 1 of 2 on consumer protections needed during and after COVID-19. By John Howat, Senior Energy Analyst, National Consumer Law Center July 8, 2020 The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recent Electric Power Monthly, released on June 24, provides sales, price and revenue data by end-use sector and Census Division for April, 2020.  Data [...]

Affordable Broadband Service is a Racial Equity and Public Health Priority During COVID-19

2020-06-29T13:56:49-05:00June 29, 2020|Categories: NCLC Utilities & Telecom Blog|

Cross-posted with the United Church of Christ, OC, Inc. and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights By Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center and Cheryl Leanza, United Church of Christ, OC, Inc. If you are reading this on your smartphone or laptop, you are fortunate to have access to internet service. More than 20 [...]

Covid-19 State Foreclosure Moratoriums and Stays

2021-04-20T18:56:07-05:00March 20, 2020|Categories: Foreclosures and Mortgages|

State Covid-19 related housing actions, April 20, 2021 The following are summaries of actions certain states have taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis to limit home foreclosures. The list may not be complete, as state and local governments continue to adopt new emergency measures at a fast pace. Consumers and their advocates should carefully [...]

High-Cost Rent-a-Bank Loan Watch List

2021-04-16T10:58:37-05:00March 17, 2020|Categories: High Cost Small Loans|

Interest rate limits are the simplest and most effective protection against predatory lending. Since the time of the American Revolution, states have limited interest rates to protect their residents. American voters strongly support interest rate caps. At least 45 states and the District of Columbia (DC) cap rates on at least some installment loans. But [...]

Rent-a-Bank Loans

2021-04-22T12:09:45-05:00February 20, 2020|Categories: High Cost Small Loans|

Predatory Rent-a-Bank Loan Watch List by State Policy Briefs & Fact Sheets Brief: Repeal the OCC's Fake Lender Predatory Lending Rule to Protect Small Businesses, April 2021 Brief: Overturn the OCC's "Fake Lender" Predatory Lending Rule, March 2021 Brief: 2021 Banking Agency Predatory Lending and Safe Banking Priorities, December 2020 Brief: Payday Lenders Plan to [...]