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 Issues Strong Rule to Protect Prepaid Cards

OCTOBER 5, 2016 || NCLC 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. 617.542.8010)

Overdraft fees on payday lender prepaid cards still permitted but hopefully on the way out

(WASHINGTON) The final rules released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today will vastly increase protections for prepaid cards, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). While the rules do not go as far as many wished, advocates expressed hope that the prepaid industry would completely eliminate overdraft fees so that all cards would truly be “prepaid.”

“The rules bring prepaid cards out of the shadows, with protections that in many ways are stronger than those for traditional bank accounts,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “Consumers will have protection from fraud, costs will be more transparent, and dangerous overdraft fees will be curtailed, but unfortunately not eliminated,” she explained.

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Consumer Advocates Disappointed Private Debt Collectors Will Begin Collecting Federal Tax Debts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 29, 2016   ||   CONTACTS

Program May Increase Scams Involving Phony Tax Collections

(WASHINGTON) Consumer advocates expressed disappointment over an announcement that four private debt collection companies were selected to collect federal tax debts, one of which had been terminated last year by the U.S. Department of Education. On September 26, the IRS announced that private debt collectors will begin collecting tax debts next spring. Pioneer Credit Recovery, whose contract to collect student loans was terminated last year by the U.S. Department of Education because it provided inaccurate information to borrowers, is one of the companies the IRS will use.

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Advocates Urge CFPB to Strengthen Outlined Debt Collection Rules to Better Protect Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 || CONTACTS

Groups call for more robust documentation standards to ensure debt collectors can prove a debt is owed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of 59 national and state organizations, led by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), Consumers Union, Americans for Financial Reform, and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray urging the CFPB to strengthen its proposed outline to rein in abusive debt collection practices.

The coalition, made up of consumer, civil rights, and legal services advocates, highlighted their concerns over the CFPB’s proposal and made recommendations to help protect consumers.
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Advocates Applaud CFPB Action Against Bridgepoint Education for Predatory Student Lending Practices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPT. 12, 2016 || NCLC CONTACT: Jan Kruse, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617.542.8010

(BOSTON) Advocates at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) applaud today’s announcement that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken action against for-profit college chain Bridgepoint Education, Inc. for deceiving students into taking out private student loans that cost more than advertised. The CFPB is ordering Bridgepoint—which operates as Ashford University and the University of the Rockies—to discharge all outstanding private loans the institution made to its students and to refund loan payments already made by such students. The CFPB found that Bridgepoint convinced students to take out private loans by falsely assuring them that the loans could be paid back with a lower repayment amount than was possible.

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NCLC Advocates Commend Department of Education’s Actions against ITT to Protect Students and Taxpayers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 26, 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) Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it is taking actions against for-profit educational company ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) to protect students and taxpayers following determinations by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) that ITT “is not in compliance, and is unlikely to become in compliance, with [ACICS] Accreditation Criteria.”

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Stop Bank, Payday Lender, and Scammer Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Cards and Restore Consumers’ Access to Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 22, 2016 || Contacts: Lauren Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 202.595.7845) or Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 617.542.8010)

(WASHINGTON) Today, advocates at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) submitted comments calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to restore consumers’ right to join together and have access to the courts when financial service providers break the law. “Banks, payday lenders, and financial scammers bury these rip-off clauses in the fine print of contracts to keep their lawbreaking out of the public courts and to force consumers into a biased, secretive, and lawless tribunal,” according to National Consumer Law Center Associate Director Lauren Saunders.

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Consumer Groups Urge the Department of Energy to Strengthen Protections for Homeowners in Best Practice Guidelines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 18, 2016 || CONTACT: Jan Kruse, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (617) 542-8010

(WASHINGTON) Today, the National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and 15 consumer advocacy organizations submitted comments urging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to strengthen consumer protections in the Department's draft Best Practices for Residential PACE Financing Programs. Municipalities use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans to help homeowners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their homes. In exchange, the municipalities collect the loan payments just as with property taxes. Failure to make payments promptly can lead to foreclosure for the homeowner.
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NCLC and 39 Others Urge Department of Education to Address Racial Disparities in Student Loans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 17, 2016 ||  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) The National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, along with a coalition of 39 other national, state and local civil legal aid, civil rights, and public interest groups and advocates, sent a letter to Secretary John King today calling on the U.S. Department of Education to collect and release the data necessary to ensure that student loans are a tool for economic advancement and not economic devastation for borrowers of color.

“It is unacceptable that, for nearly a decade, the Department has known that student loan debt disproportionately harms borrowers of color, and despite this knowledge, has failed to even track this problem, let alone address the issue,” said Persis Yu, director of National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project.

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