Headshot of a woman with short dreaded black hair wearing a headband, necklace, diamond-shaped earrings, and a red and gray rose-printed shirt.

Berneta Haynes

Senior Attorney

Berneta L. Haynes is a senior attorney who focuses on consumer energy policy and medical debt. At NCLC, she recently authored Protecting Older Adults from Surprise Medical Bills, Tariff-based On-Bill Financing: Assessing the Risks for Low-Income Consumers, The Racial Health and Wealth Gap: Impact of Medical Debt on Black Families, and Air-Source Heat Pumps: Protecting the Financial Well-being of Low-Income Families While Addressing Climate Change. She is also a contributing author to the medical debt chapter of NCLC’s Collection Actions treatise. Before joining NCLC, she served as a director at Georgia Watch, a state-based consumer advocacy organization in Atlanta, where she worked to make energy programs, quality healthcare, financial protection, and civil justice more equitable and accessible for all. At Georgia Watch, she led coalitions, facilitated forums, steered the passage of crucial medical billing legislation, and authored consumer-facing educational materials (such as the Georgia Consumer Guide for Medical Bills and Debt) and policy guides on energy equity (including Keeping the Lights On and EMCs and Energy Equity: Harnessing Your Power), financial protection, and healthcare billing. Previously, she practiced law at Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago and Southern Environmental Law Center, where she authored Solar for All and other policy papers. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English, Writing, and Psychology from Drury University, her Master’s degree in English from University of Iowa, and her law degree from University of Iowa College of Law.