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

Department of Education Proposes to Abandon Rule Protecting Students and Taxpayers from Schools that Fail to Deliver Value

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2018 ||  Contact: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); (617) 542-8010

BOSTON – Abby Shafroth, attorney with the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project , issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal to abandon the “gainful employment rule”:

“The gainful employment rule is a basic, commonsense safeguard designed to protect students and taxpayers by ensuring that federal dollars do not flow to schools that consistently fail to deliver sufficient value to students to enable them to afford their student loans. The rule protects millions of Americans enrolled in career training programs and provides incentives for schools to reduce their costs and increase their value. Today the U.S. Department of Education proposed to abandon the rule entirely.

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National Consumer Law Center, ACLU & Color of Change Praise Senate Inquiry into Predatory Bail Industry Practices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2018
CONTACTS:
Ryan Karerat, ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice, (212) 284-7388, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jan Kruse, National Consumer Law Center, (617) 542-8010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Troy Blackwell, Color of Change, (646) 828-0844, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WASHINGTON — Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) yesterday sent a letter to insurance companies that underwrite over $2 billion a year in bail bonds expressing concern about potential predatory practices in the bail industry. The letter also requests information on the steps these companies take to protect consumers and curb abusive practices.
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Booker, Brown Bill Would Rein in Abusive Overdraft Fees that Cost Consumers Billions Every Year

For Immediate Release: August 2, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senators Corey Booker (D-N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced the Stop Overdraft Profiteering Act to crack down on unfair overdraft fees. The bill would establish reasonable safeguards for checking account holders; restore transparency to the checking account market; and ultimately encourage banks to expand responsible small dollar loan offerings rather than perpetuate harmful overdraft fee practices. Abusive overdraft fees strip billions every year from the pockets of American families, often through practices designed to maximize overdraft revenue for banks. Overdraft fees, typically $35 each, are frequently triggered by small debit card transactions that are much less than the fee itself.
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Bipartisan Robocall Issue Draws Contrasting Response in U.S. Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2018
National Consumer Law Center contacts: Margot Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 595-7844; Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

Senate Democrats Urge FCC to Strengthen the Rules to Limit Robocalls; Senate GOP Seeks Leniency for Robocallers

WASHINGTON – Seven Republican Senators, led by Senator John Thune of South Dakota, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that would allow Wall Street banks, payday lenders, retailers, and other large businesses to robocall consumers’ cell phones with impunity. The GOP Senators’ letter stands in contrast to a recent letter to the FCC from 15 Democratic Senators and one Independent, led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who urged stronger rules to stop all unwanted robocalls and hold bad corporate actors accountable.

“Robocalls are universally disliked by voters, and stopping abusive and unwanted calls is truly a bipartisan issue,” said Margot Saunders, senior counsel at the National Consumer Law Center. “While senators from both parties acknowledge the pervasive nature of robocalls, it is disappointing to see the GOP senators’ letter urge the FCC to dial back consumer protections at a time when they are so desperately needed.”
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New OCC "Fintech" Charter Could Open the Floodgates to Predatory Lending

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 31, 2018

Contacts: National Consumer Law Center: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010;
Americans for Financial Reform: Carter Dougherty (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 251-6700; Center for Responsible Lending: Ricardo Quinto (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 349-1866

Special purpose “national bank” charters will allow nonbank lenders to ignore state interest rate caps

WASHINGTON – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) plan, announced today, to accept applications for “fintech” national bank charters, is both outside its authority and risks an expansion of predatory lending across the country, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center, Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Consumer Federation of America, and U.S. PIRG. National banks can ignore state interest rate limits, and the OCC is now planning to grant “national bank” charters to lenders that do not take deposits or otherwise function as traditional banks. A report released today by the U.S. Treasury Department also recommends that the OCC grant such charters. In 2017, more than 250 organizations sent a letter to the OCC opposing a fintech national bank charter.

“State interest rate limits are the primary protection against predatory lending, and giving ‘national bank’ charters to nonbank lenders could open the floodgates to a wide range of predatory actors making loans at 100 percent APR or higher,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. Two-thirds of the states cap a $2,000 loan at 36 percent or less, but a nonbank charter could allow lenders to avoid those limits.
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Deepak Gupta Joins National Consumer Law Center Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 27, 2018 || Contact: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

Deepak Gupta, founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC, a national appellate, constitutional and complex litigation firm, has joined the board of the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), with locations in Boston and Washington, D.C.

“Deepak’s deep understanding of consumer and constitutional law will provide fresh insight to help advance the National Consumer Law Center’s mission to protect low-income people from abuses in the financial marketplace, said National Consumer Law Center Executive Director Rich Dubois. “After many years of working with Deepak, we are very pleased that he has joined NCLC’s board.”

“National Consumer Law Center has been an indispensable partner to the public-interest legal community for nearly 50 years and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to support NCLC’s high-impact litigation and commitment to access to justice for all,” said Deepak Gupta.

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Education Dept. Proposes New Rules that Would Make it Much Harder for Students Harmed by For-Profit Schools to Get Loan Relief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2018

National Consumer Law Center 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

Education Department Proposes New Rules that Would Make it Much Harder for Students Harmed by For-Profit Schools to Get Loan Relief

Boston - Today, the U.S. Department of Education proposed new rules, replacing 2016 rules, that would make it much harder for students who are harmed by illegal school conduct or closures to get relief from their federal student loans or to hold schools accountable for illegal conduct. The Department proposes to severely restrict access both to “borrower defense” loan relief for students cheated by predatory schools that used illegal enrollment tactics and to loan relief for students whose schools closed before they completed their education.

“The federal student loan system is supposed to promote economic mobility and provide a ladder to a better future for low-income Americans,” said National Consumer Law Center attorney Abby Shafroth. “But for too many Americans it has done the opposite—putting targets on low-income, financial aid eligible students and veterans who are recruited by predatory institutions focused on growth and profit rather than on education and career training. It doesn’t have to be this way. The Department can and should apply rules that deter schools from lying to students to get them to enroll and that ensure students who were taken advantage of have real access to relief.”
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Advocates, Tribal Groups Seek to Delay Drastic Changes to Program Providing Affordable Voice and Broadband Access in Indian Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2018

National Consumer Law Center contacts: Olivia Wein (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 452-6252; Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

Advocates Ask FCC to Delay Implementation of Changes to the Tribal Lifeline Program While D.C. Circuit Completes Review

WASHINGTON -- Today, consumer advocates, alongside tribal, civil rights and faith-based groups, voiced their support for efforts by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the Oceti Sakowin Tribal Utility Authority, and wireless service providers (Joint Petitioners), to delay implementation of expansive changes to the Tribal Lifeline Program. The groups sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to delay rule changes outlined in its Fourth Report and Order (Tribal Order), which would disrupt affordable voice and broadband access for thousands in Indian Country, until the conclusion of a review sought by Joint Petitioners in U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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