Media Center

NCLC in the News

Select media clips. Journalists interested in speaking with an expert at the National Consumer Law Center should contact Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617.542,8010).

Press Releases

Consumer Groups Urge Action on Bipartisan Legislation to Stop Misleading “Spoofed” Robocalls

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2019
Contacts: National Consumer Law Center: Jan Kruse  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010
Consumer Reports: Kara Kelber (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 462-6262,
CFA: Susan Grant (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Consumer Action: Ruth Susswein (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (301) 718-2511,

WASHINGTON, DC — A bipartisan bill reintroduced today in the Senate will address the growing problem of “spoofed” robocalls that use fraudulent caller identification information to disguise the caller’s true identity.

Led by Senators Thune (R-S.D.) and Markey (D-Mass.), the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151) would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop rules requiring providers of telephone voice services to implement an effective framework for authenticating calls to better enable them to identify and stop unwanted calls before they reach the consumer. It would also increase potential civil forfeitures and criminal fines for intentional violations of the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA).

Consumer Reports, the National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumer Action welcomed the progress in the effort against unwanted robocalls.
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How the Government Shutdown Puts Working Families at Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 17, 2019
National Consumer Law Center contact: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

Washington, D.C. – As the longest federal government shutdown in our nation’s history drags on, attorneys at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) raised concern as to how working families could potentially be harmed long after the government reopens its doors.

Potential Foreclosures Loom for Vulnerable Homeowners
Today, advocates at 15 national and state housing organizations sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue requesting the USDA issue a stay of all judicial and non-judicial foreclosure activity on direct and guaranteed single family home loans during the government shutdown. This stay should include postponing timelines for borrowers to obtain the loss mitigation options available under these programs. Many homeowners with direct and guaranteed loans are unable to obtain hardship assistance while the agency is closed because the Department plays a critical role in approving alternatives to foreclosure in both programs.
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Advocates at Nearly 75 National, State, and Community Groups Urge Consumer Bureau to Protect Consumers from Abusive Debt Collection Practices in 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2018
Contacts: National Consumer Law Center: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or April Kuehnhoff (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); (617) 542-8010
Americans for Financial Reform: Carter Dougherty (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Linda Jun (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); (202) 251-6700

Washington, D.C. – Advocates from 74 national and state advocacy groups sent a letter yesterday afternoon to new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger urging the Bureau to focus on protecting consumers from abusive debt collection practices in anticipation of a proposed debt collection rule expected in March 2019.

“Approximately 71 million adults in the United States had debt in collections in 2017, including medical debt, credit card debt, and auto loans, according to the Urban Institute,” said April Kuehnhoff, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “With record levels of non-housing consumer debt outstanding, debt and debt collection have sadly become an increasingly common part of American life.”
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After Multiple Lawsuits and Court Order, Education Department Finally Agrees to Provide Relief to Students Hurt By School Closures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2018 ||  Contacts: Abby Shafroth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); (617) 542-8010

Boston – Yesterday evening, after multiple lawsuits by borrowers and state attorneys general and a federal court order, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would begin providing relief to approximately 15,000 student loan borrowers eligible for automatic discharges of their federal student loans because their schools closed before they could complete their programs. Approximately $150 million in federal student loans that borrowers took out to earn degrees that they were unable to complete due to their schools’ abrupt closures will be cancelled.

The Department is required to provide this relief as part of the 2016 “Borrower Defense” regulations passed under the Obama administration, but it delayed implementing the regulations and providing relief for over a year and only acted after a federal court ordered it to do so in October and another lawsuit was filed in November. The National Consumer Law Center filed an amicus brief on behalf of 18 legal aid and nonprofit organizations in the lawsuits that led to the October order.

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Consumer Bureau’s Shocking New “No Consumer Protection” Policy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2018
National Consumer Law Center contacts: Lauren Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Proposed Policy Changes Could Exempt Entire Industries from Consumer Laws and Regulations

Washington, D.C. - In a final affront to American families as acting director Mick Mulvaney headed out the door, just hours before Kathy Kraninger was sworn in as director, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a dramatic revision of its “no-action letter” policy and a new “Product Sandbox” that would give the Bureau broad authority to exempt entire industries from consumer protection laws and oversight.

“In a shocking, brazen, and unlawful move, the CFPB has proposed a ‘no action’ policy and ‘product sandbox’ that is instead a consumer protection desert that could wipe out consumer protection laws for entire industries, giving companies a safe harbor from liability if they harm consumers and from supervision or enforcement by the CFPB against unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “The enemies of consumer protection failed to persuade Congress to gut the CFPB, and the now the agency is trying to erase itself out of existence, and even stop consumers from protecting themselves.”
The CFPB has proposed two new policies.
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Advocates Decry Lack of Compensation in Consumer Bureau Settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2018

CONTACTS: National Consumer Law Center: Jan Kruse (jThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Chi Chi Wu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); (617) 542-8010
Consumer Federation of America: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (202) 387-6121 x1020

Consumers Abused by State Farm Deserve Better

Washington, D.C. - Advocates from the Consumer Federation of American and the National Consumer Law Center criticized the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement action announced late yesterday against State Farm Bank for imposing no restitution or fines at all. The CFPB discovered that State Farm violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by reporting inaccurate information about its customers to the credit bureaus and for illegally pulling credit reports without a permissible purpose.
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FCC Issues Proposed Order to Reduce Wrong Number Robocalls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2018

National Consumer Law Center: Margot Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); Stephen Rouzer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), (202) 595-7847
Consumer Reports: Kara Kelber (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), (202) 462-6262
Consumer Federation of America: Susan Grant, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Proposal Would Establish Reassigned Number Database; Require Callers to Cross-Reference for Accuracy of Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today it will take decisive action to reduce the volume of wrong number robocalls. Consumers have been complaining for years about escalating debt collection, telemarketing, and other robocalls made to the wrong people because the calls were intended to reach previous owners of their phone number. The callers have claimed they should not be held responsible for calling the wrong numbers because there was no way for them to know the numbers were reassigned to new consumers. Today’s announcement by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai outlines the Commission's plan to put a clear end to this problem, by establishing a “reassigned number database.” The database will let callers check whether a number has been reassigned so that they would be able to avoid calling or texting consumers who have not provided consent to receive robocalls and text messages.

With Americans receiving 5 billion robocalls per month and consumer complaints about unwanted robocalls soaring, a reassigned number database provides an essential tool in reducing the volume of unwanted calls placed to cell phones without the express consent of the recipient.
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National Consumer Law Center Advocates Urge HUD to Take Immediate Action to Reduce Foreclosures on Widows and Widowers of Reverse Mortgage Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 27, 2018
National Consumer Law Center: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), (617) 542-8010


Washington, D.C. -- Reverse mortgages are intended to help elders age in their homes. Yet, across the country, widows and widowers are losing their homes because of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s failure to prevent foreclosures on reverse mortgages that their now-deceased spouses previously obtained. Advocates at the National Consumer Law Center today issued a new report showing the harm that HUD’s practice causes to widows and widowers, and urging HUD to take immediate action to better inform reverse mortgage borrowers and their spouses about options to avoid foreclosure on a non-borrowing spouse, remove arbitrary and unrealistic deadlines for lenders to elect to participate in the program, and ensure that the program can work effectively to help non-borrowing spouses stay in their homes.

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