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

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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FTC Fails to Rein in Unrepaired Recalled Used Cars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 16, 2016 || Contacts: John Van Alst (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

National Consumer Law Center Advocates Express Disappointment, Concern for Consumers
(BOSTON) Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalized consent orders allowing cars to be sold as certified pre-owned (CPO) and touted as inspected and approved even though the cars have serious, unrepaired safety defects subjecting them to recall. The consent orders, which resolve actions the FTC brought against GM and the Lithia and Koons auto dealership chains, allow the sale of used cars as CPO despite the existence of dangerous safety defects if the dealer simply adds a blanket statement that the cars may have an open recall.
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National Consumer Law Center Advocates Applaud New Rules Designed to Better Protect Online Students from Predatory Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 16, 2016 || Contacts: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Abby Shafroth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); 617.542.8010

(BOSTON) Today the U.S. Department of Education announced final rules to better protect online students and taxpayers from predatory and illegal actions by for-profit colleges. Expanding protections to online students is critical given the explosive growth into the sector by many of the same institutions that have been under government scrutiny for misconduct, such as Bridgepoint and the now-closed ITT.

“Distance online education is the fastest growing segment of higher education, with 1.2 million students recently enrolled in online education programs offered by out-of-state schools that participate in the federal student loan program,” said Abby Shafroth, an attorney for the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. “Yet online education has remained the Wild West of the higher education world, with millions of federal student aid dollars at stake, few laws and no sheriff protecting students or taxpayers. We commend the Department of Education as this is a critical step toward ensuring that online students have the same rights and protections as students attending brick-and-mortar schools.”

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