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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

Racial Justice, Civil Liberties and Digital Rights Groups Urge FCC Not to Harm Lifeline Program

May 19, 2017 WASHINGTON — On Thursday, 22 racial justice, civil liberties and digital rights groups signed on to the following statement:

“Today the FCC voted 2–-1 to initiate a notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to its Net Neutrality rules. We are concerned about the possible impact of this rulemaking on the Lifeline program’s support for broadband service. We care deeply about the Lifeline broadband program because it mitigates the affordability barrier to broadband services in our homes — which is particularly acute for low-income people and people of color — and because broadband access removes barriers to educational, emergency, and civil services and job opportunities. We strongly support the FCC's recent Lifeline modernization order, which added stand-alone broadband internet service to Lifeline. We urge the Commission to ensure that nothing in this rulemaking will harm, impair, or weaken the ability of the Lifeline program to help low-income families to afford broadband service so that they can take part in the modern economy. We also urge the Commission to avoid any shift in Lifeline resources or policy that distracts from the program's core goal of defraying the cost of communications services.”

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FCC Must Protect Consumers from Unwanted Telemarketing and Debt Collection Voicemails

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 18, 2018 || CONTACTS: NCLC: Margot Saunders, msaunders(at)nclc.org or 202-595-7844; Jan Kruse, jkruse(at)nclc.org or 617-542-8010;
Consumers Union: Michael McCauley, mmccauley(at)consumer.org, 415-431-6747 x7606 (office); 415-902-9537 (cell)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer advocates urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today to reject a request by All About the Message LLC to exempt the use of ringless voicemail technology from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which prohibits most unwanted calls and texts to cell phones. The new technology enables telemarketers and debt collectors to flood unwanted messages directly into a consumers' cell phone voice mailbox. Under the TCPA, non-emergency calls or texts to cell phones are barred without consent and consumers are allowed to register their numbers on the nationwide do-not-call list so they do not receive telemarketing calls.

In a strongly worded comment letter filed today with the FCC, national and state consumer and legal aid organizations urged the FCC to protect consumers from voicemail messages that are just as invasive, expensive, and annoying as calls and texts to cell phones. If left unregulated by the TCPA, telemarketing and debt collection messages could easily overwhelm the voicemail boxes of consumers.

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CFPB Issues 5th Annual Servicemember Report: Charting Our Course Through the Military Lifecycle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2017 || Contact: Stephen Rouzer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (202) 595-7847

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs released its report today, Charting Our Course Through the Military Lifecycle, highlighting some of the most common financial struggles servicemembers face during their military careers. Since 2011, the CFPB has received more than 74,000 complaints from active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

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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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