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

Robocall Problem Even Worse than FTC Data Shows

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 4, 2017 || Contacts: Margot 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

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.”

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Education Department Rolls Back Relief to Defrauded Corinthian Colleges Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 20, 2017 || Contacts: Abby Shafroth (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) 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.

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Banking Lobbyists Back FCC Petition to Shield Companies from Penalties for Text Messaging Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 19, 2017 || CONTACTS: Margot Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

Robocallers want a “whoops” defense when they ignore consumers’ pleas to stop

WASHINGTON, 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.
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U.S. House Financial Services Committee Votes to Reduce Credit Bureau Consumer Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 13, 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

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.”

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Consumer Advocates File in Support of Acting CFPB Director Leandra English

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 8, 2017 || Contact: Jan Kruse, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (617) 542-8010

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.

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Congress Moves to Protect Predatory Payday Lenders’ Unaffordable 300% Loans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 1, 2017 || Contacts: Lauren Saunders This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (202) 595-7845; or Jan Kruse This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (617) 542-8010)

Resolution Filed to Block Consumer Bureau’s Ability-to-Pay Rule

Washington - Today, a resolution was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives that would block new consumer protections adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would rein in predatory 300% annual percentage rate (APR) payday loans.

“Americans of all political persuasions should be outraged at the members of Congress who are trying to block modest protections for predatory 300% loans that put families into a debt trap,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “Ordinary people, whether Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, support reform of 300% loans that prey on working families living paycheck to paycheck. The consumer watchdog’s rule adopts common-sense protections that responsible lenders already follow by considering the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. Congress should not side with predatory lenders over Americans.”

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House Education Bill Ends Key Student Protections that Will Lead to a Lifetime of Debt

Persis Yu, director of National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project, issued the following statement.:

“The Higher Education Bill introduced today by House Republicans would make it more difficult and more expensive for millions of Americans to repay their student loans. It would also demolish safeguards that prevent low-quality schools from using abusive and predatory tactics to line their pockets with taxpayer dollars at the expense of students working to build a better life for their families.

“This bill would make it impossible for many low-income families to ever pay back their student loans by replacing the existing income-driven repayment plans with a much harsher plan. Under the Income Based Repayment plan outlined in the bill, it could take a low-income borrower with just $30,000 in student loan debt an incredible 138 years to repay their student loans. Borrowers should not have to take their student loan debt to the grave. Additionally, new minimum monthly payment amounts will push borrowers with the least income into default. Borrowers need real help paying their student loans; this bill severely misses the mark.”



Statement of National Consumer Law Center’s Lauren Saunders Regarding Appointment of Mulvaney as Interim Director of Consumer Bureau

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBER 25, 2017 || Contacts: Lauren Saunders, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (202) 595-7845, Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Washington, D.C. – Last night, President Trump announced the purported appointment of Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney as interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The following statement is by National Consumer Law Center Associate Director Lauren Saunders.

“President Trump’s purported appointment of Mick Mulvaney as interim director of America’s consumer watchdog is an illegal affront to the American public. Mulvaney has said that he would like to ‘get rid of’ the consumer bureau and has called the watchdog that has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million Americans a ‘joke ... in a sad, sick kind of way.’ But it is no joke to ordinary families to attempt to defang the one agency in Washington with the tools and independence to take on the Wall Street banks, giant credit reporting agencies, and predatory lenders that abuse the American public.

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