//COVID-19 & Consumer Protections

COVID-19 & Consumer Protections


The COVID-19 pandemic is creating upheaval in people’s lives, especially the most vulnerable, and NCLC is working with allies, government officials, and businesses, to help. This list of resources, which will be updated as new information is available, is a guide to help families navigate their financial lives during these turbulent times. It also includes best ways to connect with NCLC while our staff works from home to avoid community spread.

Advocacy Resources || Training & Conferences || Additional Resources for Advocates and Consumers



NCLC staff are working with allies, federal and state policymakers, and industry to push for relief for consumers facing financial distress in light of the coronavirus crisis.

General Consumer Protections

Federal Relief


NCLC Recommendations

Bank and Prepaid Card Accounts, Bank Fees

State Relief

  • States, including New York, have ordered or encouraged relief affecting overdraft, ATM and credit card late fees.

NCLC & Other Recommendations

  • Banks and credit unions that offer safe checkless checking accounts that meet the Bank On National Account Standards (including no overdraft or NSF fees) and are likely open to people with blemished account screening histories can be found at the very bottom of this Bank On page.


  • Group letter urging Congress to adopt amendments to the Bankruptcy Code in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 24, 2020

Credit and Debt 

Federal Relief

Credit Reporting

  • Credit Reports and the Covid-19 Crisis: What States Should Do to Help Consumers, March 2020
  • S. 3508 (Schatz, Brown), Disaster Protection For Workers’ Credit Act – NCLC (on behalf of its low-income clients) supports this bill which would establish a minimum 4-month moratorium on negative credit reporting to protect consumers’ credit records during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It also gives consumers the option to seek another 9 months of credit reporting protection if they continue to experience economic hardship, by informing a CFPB database. The bill will also provide free, unlimited credit reports and credit scores for a year from the end of the pandemic. Beyond this crisis, the bill extends these protections to people impacted by future major disasters. NCLC press release.

Criminal Justice 

  • NCLC & Other Recommendations

  • Group letter urging free access to telephone and video conferencing (where available) for all those incarcerated in Massachusetts, given the suspension of personal visitation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, March 20, 2020
  • Fines and Fees Justice Center’s COVID-19 Policy Recommendations urging state and local governments to make immediate changes to their criminal, traffic and municipal ordinance fines and fees policies to protect public health and ensure that fines and fees are not a barrier to people’s basic needs throughout this emergency.


Racial Equity

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Student Loans

Utilities and Bridging the Digital Divide

Federal Relief

State & Local Relief

Training and Conferences at NCLC

All information will be updated on our Conferences or Webinars pages.

  • NCLC’s Fair Debt Collections Conference, originally scheduled for late March in Portland, Oregon, will instead be a webinar series of 8-10 webinars on a range of debt collections, student loans, and TCPA issues on March 30-31, 2020.
  •  NCLC’s Mortgage Conference is scheduled for June 15-16 in Baltimore, Maryland, with an all-day pre-conference intensive on bankruptcy on June 14. We are monitoring the course of the coronavirus and are optimistic that we can go forward with this conference. In the meantime, people interested in attending should save the date.
  • NCLC’s annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference will be November 19-22 in Atlanta. Course proposals should be submitted by Tuesday, March 31 here.

Additional Resources


The coronavirus crisis is likely to reduce families’ essential income, as businesses suspend or reduce operations. For state advocates working with their state legislators to protect people impacted by income losses due to COVID-19, NCLC’s report may be of help. No Fresh Start in 2019: How States Still Let Debt Collectors Push Families into Poverty surveys all 50 states and has a number of charts and maps assessing the extent to which state laws protect basic income and assets needed for survival: wages, home, car, bank account, household goods.