- 9/7/18 Washington Post Lehman Bros.’ bankruptcy a decade ago offers lessons to protect today’s consumers by Michelle Singletary quotes NCLC attorney Alys Cohen on warning signs for consumers for the next financial crisis.
- 9/6/18 USA Today Equifax data breach: What's changed since last year's huge hack of personal information? by Kevin McCoy quotes NCLC Associate Director Lauren Saunders on how little has changed for consumers since the massive breach.
- 8/2/18 The Washington Post Is your Fitbit wrong? One woman argued hers was — and almost ended up in a legal no-man’s land by Brian Fung quotes NCLC Associate Director Lauren Saunders on how forced arbitration clauses stack the deck against consumers.
- 7/25/18 The Chronicle of Higher Education Proposed changes in Borrower-Defense Rules would make it tougher for defrauded students to get debt relief by Claire Hansen quotes NCLC attorney Abby Shafroth
- 6/28/18 Marketplace The financial crisis still isn't over for homebuyers in rent-to-own deals by Amy Scott quotes NCLC attorney Sarah Mancini about the resurgence of predatory contracts that target communities of color.
- More Media Clips >>>
Hearing on January 18, 2018, at 10am EDT, 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Joanna Darcus’s testimony will be available later today or by 9am tomorrow morning: http://bit.ly/2ER3VrD
National Consumer Law Center Attorney Will Testify before U.S. Senate Committee on Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency on January 18
Boston — National Consumer Law Center Attorney and Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Racial Justice Fellow Joanna Darcus will testify on Thursday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency.”
Program costs three times the amount collected from financially-strapped taxpayersBoston - New data from the National Taxpayer Advocate for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shows that a congressionally-mandated program requiring the IRS to use private debt collectors, like past efforts, targets financially vulnerable families while costing taxpayers three times more than it recovers.
Lawsuits to Hold Bad Actors Accountable for Breaking Key Consumer Protection Laws Are Down and Requests for Exemptions Are Routine–Making the Robocall Problem Even Worse Than It Looks
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Biennial Report to Congress” reveals a sizeable uptick in consumer complaints about robocalls in 2017, with 4.5 million complaints filed in 2017 compared to 3.4 million in 2016. While the rise in complaints is consistent with an increased use of intrusive and disruptive robocall technology, the problem is far worse even than the FTC’s numbers, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center.
Industry data shows that over two billion robocalls are made every month, many of which are unwanted and illegal. Any robocall to a cell phone violates the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) unless the recipient has consented to the call.
“The FTC’s complaint data illustrates a rapid expansion of the use of robocall technology and the toll these abusive calls take on consumers,” said Margot Saunders, senior counsel at the National Consumer Law Center. “However, the complaint database understates the full extent of the problem of abusive robocalls.”
(BOSTON) Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was unveiling a supposedly “improved” process for student loan relief claims submitted by students cheated by predatory schools. The Department stated that the new process would “aid defrauded borrowers.” However, the only process change announced will specifically reduce aid to defrauded borrowers by ending the Department’s practice of providing full loan discharges to defrauded Corinthian students. Instead, it will use a complex new calculation to limit relief. The Department plans to impose these new limits on relief even to borrowers who submitted claims for relief months or years ago—during the period when the Department’s practice was to provide full discharges to defrauded Corinthian students. The limits will therefore be a harsh surprise for defrauded borrowers who have waited and waited, expecting full discharges.
Robocallers want a “whoops” defense when they ignore consumers’ pleas to stopWASHINGTON, D.C. - Outcome Health has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow companies to avoid liability for continuing to send unwanted text messages to consumers even after they have repeatedly asked for the texts to stop. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), companies can be held liable in court for such abusive and invasive practices, but Outcome Health’s petition asks that companies claiming that the messages were sent as a result of “an undetected and inadvertent technical error” should be shielded from liability. Allowing this petition would send a message that callers and texters can continue to bombard consumers with unwanted and illegal robocalls and texts without consequence.
H.R. 435 Reduces Consumer Control over Personal Data collected by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
Boston – Today, the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that strips some of the few privacy rights that consumers have in deciding whether their information is sent to credit bureaus like Equifax.
“Given the angst that members of Congress expressed at the Equifax Congressional hearings over the lack of control consumers have when it comes to the credit bureaus, it is ironic that the House Financial Services Committee has just passed a bill that will actually reduce consumers’ ability to have a say over their own data,” said National Consumer Law Center staff attorney Chi Chi Wu. “They passed this bill despite the opposition of 40 consumer, civil rights, and other advocacy groups.”
Agency’s Independence Is Necessary to Its Mission, Groups Say
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Consumer Bureau) independence from external political influence is crucial to the agency’s mission of protecting consumers, 10 groups told a court today in an amicus brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The groups are Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform, Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Action, National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), National Consumers League, National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Tzedek DC and U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (U.S. PIRG Education Fund).
In the case, Deputy CFPB Director Leandra English is seeking a preliminary injunction allowing her to serve as acting director of the CFPB while litigation over the lawful acting director – herself or U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney – proceeds. In their amicus filing, the groups explain that the public has a strong interest in English serving as the acting director while the court further considers the legal issues.