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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

Report Finds Wall Street Investment Companies Chasing Profits From Predatory Real Estate Product with Racist Roots

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 14, 2016 || NCLC Contact: Jan Kruse, 617-542-8010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CFPB Urged to Rein in Land Installment Contracts
See full report, including a map, charts, and all recommendations: http://bit.ly/29sPcEv

(BOSTON) A new wave of predatory real estate lending, previously peddled to African-Americans during the 1930s to 1960s, is popping up across the nation as Wall Street investment companies move to profit off foreclosed homes, according to a new report by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). Toxic Transactions: How Land Installment Contracts Once Again Threaten Communities of Color details how land contracts are marketed disproportionately to low-income families of color as an alternative path to homeownership but instead allow investors to avoid responsibility for property upkeep while churning successive would-be homeowners through a property they could not legally rent. “This predatory financial product sucks away hard earned dollars from people who believe they are investing in the dream of homeownership, only to find it was a mirage,” said Sarah Bolling Mancini, of counsel to the National Consumer Law Center and co-author of the report. “Particularly in credit-starved communities of color, companies pushing land installment contracts are taking away the home equity that should be built up by the people living in these communities and transferring it to Wall Street-backed investors. Action is urgently needed to stop this unfair and deceptive product before it puts more consumers at risk.”

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FHA Note Sales Should Cease until Homeowners are Fully Protected

National Consumer Law Center Advocates Say Homeowners Need More Protections

(WASHINGTON) Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced changes to the Distressed Asset Stability Program (DASP), which sells defaulted Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loans to for-profit buyers at a discount.

When loans are sold in the DASP program, the homeowners lose important government protections that help ward off foreclosure. HUD’s announcement seeks to fill this gap with a requirement for servicers to consider reducing loan principal to make loans more affordable. “We agree that principal reductions are sorely needed, but HUD’s approach is to leave the decision solely to the discretion of the loan buyers,” said Geoff Walsh, attorney at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). “Note sales should include publicly available, enforceable standards to regulate what these buyers must do. Homeowners who are not offered principal reduction should be notified they were found ineligible and should be provided with supporting documentation.”

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National Consumer Law Center Names Steve Hurley as Chief Development Officer

(BOSTON) The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), a nonprofit with headquarters in Boston and an office in Washington, D.C., has named Steve Hurley as chief development officer, effective June 6, 2016. The organization works for economic justice for low-income and other disadvantaged people in the United States.

As chief development officer, Hurley will lead NCLC’s development and communications team. One of his first tasks is to lead the search to hire a director of leadership giving and engagement for NCLC.

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NCLC to testify before the Chicago City Council on harms of forced arbitration by contractors in consumer and employment agreements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 14, 2016 || CONTACTS: Jan Kruse, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or David Seligman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Proposed Ordinance Would Ban Contractors from Using Forced Arbitration Clauses in Consumer and Employment Agreements

(BOSTON) Tomorrow, the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Finance will hear testimony in support of an ordinance that would prevent companies that do business with the City from using or enforcing forced arbitration clauses in their agreements with consumers and employees. Forced arbitration requires a person to take a dispute to a private, biased arbitrator chosen by the company, rather than to exercise her constitutional right to have her complaint heard before an impartial judge and jury. National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) Contributing Author David Seligman will testify on behalf of NCLC and its low-income clients about the harms to the public from forced arbitration at the hearing.

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CFPB Proposes Strong Rules to Protect Payday Borrowers Yet Worrisome Loopholes Need Tightening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 2, 2016 || Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 202.595.7845; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 617.542.8010

(WASHINGTON) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed rules that make a strong start in improving the protections for high-cost payday and installment loans, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). But the rules need to be tightened up to close loopholes, and state interest rate caps will remain important to protect families from high-cost lending.

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Broad Coalition of Advocates Urges Support for Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 19, 2016 || NCLC's 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

(BOSTON) A broad coalition of consumer, civil rights, labor, and community organizations issued a letter strongly urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support of H.R. 5282, the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 2016, introduced today by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Credit reports and credit scores are the gatekeeper for affordable credit, insurance, rental housing, and sometimes even a job. The reforms addressed in the bill are urgently needed in order to ensure that the American credit reporting system is accurate and fair to consumers..

In a 2012 study, the Federal Trade Commission found that 21% of consumers had verified errors in their credit reports, 13% had errors that affected their credit scores, and 5% had errors serious enough to be denied or pay more for credit.

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