//COVID-19 & Consumer Protections

COVID-19 & Consumer Protections

image_pdfimage_print

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: General Consumer Protections, Autos, Banks and Prepaid Card Accounts, Bank Fees, Bankruptcy, Credit and Debt, Credit Reporting, Criminal Justice, Housing, Older Consumers, Racial and Immigrant Equity, Robocalls & Telemarketing, Student Loans, Utilities and Bridging the Digital Divide

Training & Conferences || Additional Resources for Consumers

Resources

Advocacy

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 & Other Recommendations

State Relief

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Autos

State Relief

NCLC Recommendations

Bank and Prepaid Card Accounts, Bank Fees

Federal Relief

NCLC Recommendations

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)  can be opened online, and are available to people with blemished account screening histories, can be found at JoinBankOn.org

Bankruptcy

  • 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

  • The federal banking agencies have issued guidance encouraging institutions to work with affected customers.

NCLC & Other Recommendations

State & Local Relief

NCLC is tracking state and local government responses to the coronavirus that are relevant to the collection of non-mortgage consumer debts, including:

  • Covid-19 Related State Protections for Wages and Cash in Bank Accounts (continually updated)
  • Prohibition of Certain Collection Practices –  Entries track practices in the collection of civil, non-mortgage debts by debt collectors or creditors that have been temporarily prohibited due to the coronavirus.
  • Can Debt Collectors Work from Home? –   Entries track orders and guidance related to whether debt collectors can work from home. Only highlights guidance that has been issued in relation to the coronavirus. Some jurisdictions may have had prior guidance.
  • Bar on Collection of Debts Owed to State/Local Government  –  Entries track state and city temporary orders that have been enacted to bar the collection of debt owed to the government.
  • Suspension of Certain Court Proceedings Related to Debt Collection  –  Entries include a non-comprehensive list of courts that have suspended certain judicial proceedings or activities related to the collection of civil, non-mortgage debts. For more about state court closures see the National Center for State Courts website.
  • Calls to Action – Entries track calls to action from legislators, attorneys general, businesses, and advocates to state governments and industry leaders calling for collection moratoriums and other debt collection related consumer protections.
  • Legislative Responses – Entries track legislation introduced at state and municipality level that includes prohibitions on certain debt collection practices. Entries track status of bills.
  • Other Debt Collection Responses – Entries include responses by states that do not fall into one of the other categories, such as new legislation relating to debt collection during the coronavirus pandemic and recommendations for collection practices from state agencies.

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Credit Reporting

Federal Relief

NCLC Recommendations

State Relief

NCLC Recommendations

Criminal Justice 

Federal Relief

NCLC & Other Recommendations

  • Group letter urging Senate to to adopt provisions of HR 6800 the HEROES Act incentivizing states and local governments to stop charging and collecting juvenile fees and fines during the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, May 20, 2020
  • Group letter urging the FCC to protect incarcerated people and their families during the COVID-19 crisis by request private companies offer free phone and video visits with no fees, April 7, 2020

State Relief

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Housing

Federal Relief

NCLC & Other Recommendations

  • Group letter providing feedback to the CFPB, Treasury, FHFA, and HUD on their consumer-facing website, which provides information about relief available for mortgage borrowers and renters, June 2, 2020
  • Housing and industry coalition letter to federal agencies urging establishment of a single consumer-facing online portal to provide centralized housing information about federal mortgage and rental relief available during the COVID-19 national emergency, May 4, 2020
  • NCLC sponsored a series of free webinars for advocates in May 2020. See below to listen to archived webinars and access materials.
    COVID-19 and Mortgage Relief for Homeowners: CARES Act Protections, May 7, 2020. Webinar recording and materials.   
    This webinar will provide an overview of the forbearance and post-forbearance options for federally-backed mortgages, including an explanation of what the CARES Act requires and a discussion of the servicing policies of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and USDA (Andrea Bopp Stark- NCLC, Sarah Bolling Mancini-NCLC)
  • Forbearance Options and CARES Act Requirements, May 14, 2020. Webinar recording and materials.  In this session, we will go into more depth about the language of the CARES Act and the ways different government entities are implementing its requirements. We will also touch on how servicers are handling forbearance requests, and strategies to deal with servicer noncompliance. (Tara Twomey-NCLC, Steve Sharpe-NCLC, John Rao-NCLC).
  • Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Issues in the Covid-19 Pandemic, May 21, 2020. Webinar recording and materials.  This webinar will discuss the home-saving options for reverse mortgage borrowers and non-borrowing spouses, including specific updates about Covid-19 related protections. (Sarah Bolling Mancini-NCLC, Odette Williamson, NCLC)
  • An Introduction to CARES Post-Forbearance Options, May 28, 2020. Webinar recording and materials. This session will provide an introduction to post-forbearance options for borrowers obtaining mortgage relief under the CARES Act.  The program will review options available through FHA and the GSEs based on the most recent guidance and information available. (Tara Twomey – NCLC, Andrea Bopp Stark – NCLC, Geoff Walsh – NCLC).

State & Local Relief

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Older Consumers

Racial and Immigrant Equity

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Robocalls & Telemarketing

Federal Relief

NCLC & Other Recommendations

  • NCLC & American Bankers’ Association Ex-Parte joint comments to the FCC requesting quick action to interpret the TCPA’s emergency exception to apply to automated calls from creditors during the  COVID-19 emergency when informing consumers of forbearance and payment deferral options for loans secured by homes and vehicles, April 23, 2020
  • Group Ex Parte Comments to the FCC supporting the American Banker Asso. and other lenders petition on pandemic calls duringdeclared national emergency, limited numbers of automated calls from the described institutions to alert their customers to the callers’ offers of the specified kinds of relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic, April 9, 2020; Related press release

Student Loans

Federal Relief

Litigation

  • Barber, Jenkins  et al vs Devos and U.S. Department of Education, Case 1:20-cv-01137, May 7, 2020. Amended Complaint and Press Release.   Share your storyif you have had wages garnished in 2020 for a student loan.NCLC and Student Defense, with support of the Student Borrower Protection Center, filed an emergency APA lawsuit in the D.C. District Court against the U.S. Department of Education seeking to stop its garnishment of wages from defaulted student loan borrowers and to force the agency to immediately comply with Sec. 3513 (e) of the CARES Act that mandates that all such collections be ceased until at least next September. A motion for injunctive relief class certification has also been filed.

NCLC & Other Recommendations

Utilities and Bridging the Digital Divide

Federal Relief

  • FCC order that no current Lifeline customer lose their service during this crisis and preserves Lifeline service for existing customers by waiving certain rules that are popular reasons for loss of Lifeline service, March 30, 2020

NCLC & Other Recommendations

State & Local Relief

NCLC Recommendations

Training and Conferences at NCLC

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

Additional Resources

Consumers

2020-06-05T13:36:53-05:00