Events Archive

The Constitution prohibits jailing defendants for non-payment of debts they cannot afford but too often courts fail to conduct adequate "ability to pay" proceedings and unrepresented individuals are sent to jail simply because they are too poor to pay a fee. This webinar discusses both effective representation of individuals in ability to pay proceedings and best practices for ability to pay determinations that advocates should promote in policy reform.

Event Date Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Event End Date Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Lawsuits are currently challenging harsh criminal justice debt collection practices, including "debtor's prisons" and automatic license suspensions. This webinar discussed litigation strategies and challenges when pursuing affirmative claims against harsh criminal justice debt collection practices, and will encourage participants to incorporate consumer and constitutional law insights in their work.

Event Date Friday, 16 March 2018
Event End Date Friday, 16 March 2018

The National Consumer Law Center and the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School's free webinar series on criminal justice debt continues this spring. Confronting Criminal Justice Debt focuses on the fines and fees imposed by the criminal justice system. This webinar series brings together leading attorneys, academics, and other advocates to identify problems with the current fine and fee practices, including their disproportionate impact on the poor and people of color, and to discuss litigation and policy solutions.

Event Date Thursday, 01 March 2018
Event End Date Thursday, 01 March 2018
Communities of color often face challenges connecting to and maintaining affordable broadband and voice service. The federal Lifeline program has been around since the mid-1980s. While it started as a low-income program to help households afford voice service, it has been expanded to include wireless voice and broadband Internet support. ....
 
Event Date Wednesday, 07 February 2018
Event End Date Wednesday, 07 February 2018
In August, a federal court approved a historic settlement in Salazar v. DeVos that could provide debt relief to as many as 60,000 students. Under the settlement, the Department and Guaranty Agencies are in the process of sending out notices and discharge applications to former students who attended "Wilfred Beauty Academy" (and related Wilfred schools) in the 1980s and 1990s. Wilfred had campuses in CA, CO, DC, FL, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, and TX. The Department is required to grant discharges for all borrowers who are eligible for a false certification ability-to-benefit discharge based on the application itself. But getting the word out to these borrowers, and helping them submit the applications, will be key to ensuring that as many as possible receive discharges.
Event Date Friday, 03 November 2017
Event End Date Friday, 03 November 2017

For criminal justice debtors, bankruptcy can be a powerful tool. It can eliminate the obligation to repay certain criminal justice debts or provide an orderly mechanism for repaying certain debts that cannot be discharged. 

Event Date Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Event End Date Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Too often, individuals who owe criminal justice debt lack counsel who can help them navigate the system and avoid the severe penalties often imposed for nonpayment-from garnishment to suspension of a driver's license to incarceration.

Event Date Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Event End Date Tuesday, 10 October 2017
America's justice system is increasingly financed by the imposition of heavy fines, fees, and costs on individuals accused of crimes and civil infractions. The costs are disproportionately born by the poor and people of color. This webinar will provide an overview of criminal justice debt as an urgent racial justice problem. It will outline key policy reforms and provide an overview of consumer, constitutional, and criminal litigation issues that arise with criminal justice debt.
Event Date Wednesday, 04 October 2017
Event End Date Wednesday, 04 October 2017
This training focused on the growing area of debt collection resulting from stays in nursing home facilities. The training reviewed potential bases for liability for a nursing home resident or their families, preemptive strategies to avoid the creation of unnecessary debt, and strategies for defending these lawsuits.
Event Date Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Event End Date Tuesday, 12 September 2017

In our efforts to persuade policy makers and general audiences to act on the issues we care about, we often encounter one recurring barrier: fear. Some audience members are worried, anxious and scared about a number of issues facing the country today. We need to be strategic in our communication and tell an affirmative, positive story that moving forward is more important than ever.

Event Date Thursday, 27 April 2017
Event End Date Thursday, 27 April 2017