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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 Documents How Older Americans are Increasingly Pushed into Poverty Due to Seizure of Social Security Benefits to Pay Defaulted Student Loans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 17, 2017 || NCLC contacts: Persis Yu (pyu(at)nclc.org) or Jan Kruse (jkruse(at)nclc.org); 617.542.8010

Advocates Call on Congress to End Draconian Collection Tactics

(BOSTON) Americans aged 65 and older are increasingly vulnerable to having their Social Security benefits seized by the federal government to repay defaulted student loans, threatening their wellbeing, according to a new report by the National Consumer Law Center, Pushed into Poverty: How Student Loan Collections Threaten the Financial Security of Older Americans, documents that this collection method is needlessly pushing older borrowers into poverty, as noted in several desperate older borrowers’ stories, and calls on Congress to eliminate the practice.

“The federal government’s seizure of Social Security benefits is causing many older Americans great harm, as they forgo prescription medications or necessary medical care,” said Persis Yu, author of the report and director of the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. “And older borrowers of color are at greater risk than white borrowers due to higher dependency on Social Security as their only source of income. Congress must act to protect vulnerable older student loan borrowers and end Social Security offsets.”
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Prepaid Card Protections Likely to Escape Congressional Veto

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 10, 2017 || Contacts

 More than 12 Million Americans Will Benefit from Fee Transparency and Fraud Protections

(Washington) Advocates are celebrating strong signs that the Senate will not act before the clock runs out on Thursday for resolutions filed in the U.S. Senate by Senator David Perdue (GA) and in the U.S. House by Rep. Roger Williams (TX) that would have forced a vote to block prepaid card protections created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Texas is the home state of prepaid card firm NetSpend and Georgia is the home of its parent company TSYS. Repealing the rule would have allowed NetSpend to keep charging customers up to $85 million a year in overdraft fees while blocking basic fraud protections and fee disclosures set to go into effect for all prepaid cards, 98% of which don’t have overdraft fees.

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Advocates from 36 States Head to Congress To Counter Unprecedented Attack On Consumer Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 9 , 2017  ||  Contacts 

Congress Considering Bills to Gut the CFPB & Roll Back Essential Consumer Safeguards

Washington, D.C. – Over 100 consumer advocates from 36 states across the country are coming to Washington, D.C. this week to urge lawmakers in Congress to oppose legislation that would harm consumers in their communities. In particular, the advocates are calling on Congress to reject legislation that would weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and undermine its proposed rules to limit high-cost payday loans and forced arbitration. The advocates are also urging opposition to the Regulatory Accountability Act which will cause agency paralysis by analysis and make it extremely difficult to enact important new health, safety, and pocketbook protections.
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Fair Arbitration Now Coalition Urges the House to Reject Legislation Stripping Federal Agencies of Authority to Restrict Forced Arbitration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2017,  Contacts 

Washington, DC – Today, the House Financial Services Committee voted to advance H.R. 10, which would roll back key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and block federal agencies from restoring crucial legal rights of consumers and investors. The bill now moves to the House floor. The Fair Arbitration Now coalition sent a letter urging members of the House Financial Services Committee to reject Chair Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Tex.) H.R. 10, titled the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, ahead of the bill’s hearing last week.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Puts Wall St. Interests Ahead of Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 26, 2017 ||  Contacts: Lauren Saunders (lsaunders(at)nclc.org), Stephen Rouzer (srouzer(at)nclc.org) 202.595.7847, or Jan Kruse (jkruse(at)nclc.org)

Bill would promote Wall Street’s interests while exposing American families to financial, health and safety threats

Washington - Legislation introduced in Congress today by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Rob Portman (R-OH), the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, would favor Wall Street and other industry interests over protections for the American public, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center.

"This bill would rig the system in favor of Wall Street banks and companies that have dangerous products, making it easier for them to block rules that protect the public from abusive financial practices and health and safety threats,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Defends Borrowers from Illegal High-Cost Loans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 28, 2017 || Contacts: Lauren 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.) 617.542.8010

Online Lenders Attempted to Collect 440% to 950% APR Loans that Were Illegal in Many States

Washington, DC - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) yesterday took action against four tribally affiliated online payday installment lenders for deceiving consumers and collecting debt that was not legally owed in many states because the loans exceeded state interest rate caps or because the lenders were unlicensed. Under the law of those states, the illegal loans were void and could not be collected.

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Statement of National Consumer Law Center’s Lauren Saunders Regarding the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 26, 2017 || Contacts: Lauren Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Stephen Rouzer (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.)

Bill would promote Wall Street’s interests while exposing American families to financial, health and safety threats

Washington - Legislation introduced in Congress today, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, would favor Wall Street and other industry interests over protections for the American public, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center.

"This bill would rig the system in favor of Wall Street banks and companies that have dangerous products, making it easier for them to block rules that protect the public from abusive financial practices and health and safety threats,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Goes to Bat for Military Families Again

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 26, 2017 || 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

Auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers is fined $1.25 million

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC), an auto lender with headquarters in Ohio and operating in more than two dozen states that specializes in loans to servicemembers, for violating a CFPB consent order. In 2015, the CFPB ordered SNAAC to pay penalties for illegal debt collection tactics, including making threats to contact servicemembers’ commanding officers about debts and exaggerating the consequences of not paying. SNAAC violated the 2015 order by failing to provide more than $1 million in refunds and credits, affecting more than 1,000 consumers. The consent order requires SNAAC to make good on the refunds and credits it owes and pay an additional $1.25 million penalty.

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