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

CFPB’s TCF Bank Overdraft Fee Case Has Echoes of Wells Fargo’s Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 19, 2017 ||  Contacts: Chi Chi Wu (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

Case Demonstrates the Need for a Strong and Independent Consumer Watchdog

The following statement is issued by National Consumer Law Center Staff Attorney Chi Chi Wu in response to today’s announcement that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing TCF National Bank over deceptive tactics used by that bank to enroll customers into costly overdraft coverage of one-time debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals.

“The consumer watchdog that is on the side of working families has done it again by taking strong, firm action against a bank behaving badly. TCF Bank allegedly deceived its customers so it could keep gouging them with pricey fees for unnecessary overdrafts on debit card purchases that most people would rather have denied than pay a big fee. TCF’s CEO even named his boat ‘Overdraft;’ trick fees may keep the bank CEO afloat but they sink ordinary people.

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Statement of NCLC’s Lauren Saunders re: Legal Standing of CFPB Director on Auto Lending Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 18, 2017 || Contacts: Lauren Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or 202.595.7845; Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or 617.542.8010

(WASHINGTON) The House Financial Services Committee today issued a report alleging that the CFPB Director Rich Cordray “failed to heed attorney advice on auto lending rule, likely violated federal law” as the CFPB drafted regulations in 2015 outlining which non-bank auto lenders it planned to supervise.

National Consumer Law Center Associate Director Lauren Saunders made the following statement:

“The half-baked allegation against consumer watchdog Rich Cordray seems aimed at building a case that President-elect Trump should fire Cordray for cause. This tempest in a teapot, much like past bogus allegations, is aimed at headlines but does not withstand scrutiny. The trumped up charges against the consumer watchdog do not remotely approach the egregious level of negligent conduct that would necessitate removing a presidential appointee for cause. The internal CFPB exchanges detailed in committee's report show routine internal debate about how to best follow federal notice and comment regulations. Auto lenders were well aware that they could be supervised by the CFPB, and would easily be able to conduct their own analysis of whether they would meet the CFPB's threshold for supervision. Critics attempting to build a case for the unprecedented removal of Richard Cordray as CFPB are on thin legal ground, lack public support, and are carrying water for powerful special interests.

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Advocates Applaud CFPB Lawsuit against Navient for Failing Student Loan Borrowers, Especially Disabled Students and Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 18, 2017 || Contacts: Persis Yu (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

The following statement is issued by Persis Yu, director of National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project in response to today’s announcement that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans.

We applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for taking critical steps to protect student loan borrowers who have been harmed by Navient’s practices, which created obstacles to repayment by providing bad information, processing payments incorrectly, and failing to act when borrowers complained. It is especially distressing that Navient misreported to credit reporting companies loan defaults by disabled borrowers, including severely injured veterans, who were entitled to loan discharges.

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New CFPB Research Highlights Need for Strong Regulations to Protect Consumers from Collection Abuses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 12, 2017 || Contacts: Margot Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), April Kuehnhoff (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

(WASHINGTON) Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), continuing its critically important work in protecting consumers, released a report based on its first national survey of consumer experiences with debt collectors. The survey found that the 70 million consumers who have had interactions with the debt collection industry in the past year have suffered from tens of millions of illegal and abusive collection practices. The industry has persisted in violating the 40-year old Federal Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). “Problems in the debt collection industry show why we need a strong consumer watchdog to shine a spotlight on industry abuses and take action. President-Elect Trump must resist calls to fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray or to weaken the CFPB,” said April Kuehnhoff, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

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CFPB Taps Former Pentagon Legal Official to Head Office of Servicemember Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 9, 2017

CONTACTS:
Americans for Financial Reform: Jim Lardner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202.466.1854)
Center for Responsible Lending: Ricardo Quinto (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202 349-1866)
Consumer Federation of America: Michael Best (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202.939.1009)
National Association of Consumer Advocates: Christine Hines (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
National Consumer Law Center: Lauren Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202.595.7845); Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617.542.8010)
U.S. Pirg: Ed Mierzwinski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-461-3821)

CFPB Taps Former Pentagon Legal Official to Head Office of Servicemember Affairs
 
Appointment Highlights Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Continued Focus on Military Families Targeted by Financial Predators

(WASHINGTON) Consumer organizations praised the choice of Colonel Paul Kantwill (U.S. Army, Retired) to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Servicemember Affairs. Mr. Kantwill formerly served as director of the Office of Legal Policy in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness at the Pentagon. He joins the CFPB after a 25-year military career with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, serving in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.
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Advocates Applaud CFPB for Highlighting Older Student Loan Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 5, 2017 || Contacts: Persis Yu (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) Advocates at the National Consumer Law Center applaud the CFPB for highlighting issues facing older student loan borrowers in a report the agency released today. “It is critically important that we ensure that consumers who are living on fixed incomes are given every opportunity to succeed, especially when it comes to paying loans designed to provide them or their children an education,” said Odette Williamson, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “This report shows that too often, the system is not working for older borrowers.”

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Statement Applauding CFPB for Enforcement Actions against Equifax and TransUnion for Deceptive Marketing of Credit Monitoring Products

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 3, 2017 || Contacts: Chi Chi Wu (cwu_at_nclc.org) or Jan Kruse (jkruse_at_nclc.org); 617.542.8010

Nearly $18 million to be refunded to harmed consumers
(BOSTON) Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against Equifax and TransUnion, two of the nation’s “Big Three” credit reporting agencies, involving their sale of “credit monitoring” products, which are costly monthly subscriptions for consumers to access credit scores and reports. The CPFB ordered Equifax and TransUnion to refund over $17.6 million to consumers who were deceived into buying these subscriptions, plus pay fines totaling $5.5 million.
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GAO Report Shows Draconian Consequences of SSA Offsets for Student Loan Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 20, 2016 || Contacts: Persis Yu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); 617.542.8010

Today, the Government Accountability Office released a report documenting the draconian consequences that the Department of the Treasury’s practice of garnishing Americans’ social security payments has on vulnerable student loan borrowers in default.

“Taking money from Social Security retirement or disability benefits to repay old student loans is an extraordinary collection tool. It is time to reexamine this program and weigh the true costs of taking Social Security benefits from elderly and disabled Americans against the small amount this brings into federal coffers,” said director of NCLC’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance project, Persis Yu.

The report found that for more than two-thirds of borrowers whose monthly benefit was below the poverty line, the money deducted from their Social Security benefits was enough only to pay fees and interest, so the amount of the debt was not even reduced. The report also found that of older student loan borrowers with a Social Security offset, 43% had held their loans for 20 years or more and 80% had held their loans for 10 years or more. “For too many borrowers, there is no light at the end of this tunnel,” said Yu.

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