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

New Report Lifts Voices of Borrowers Trapped in Poverty by Draconian Student Loan Collection Tactic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 15, 2018 ||  Contacts: Persis Yu (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

National Consumer Law Center Report: EITC Seizures Harm Working Poor

Boston - Today, the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) released Voices of Despair: Student Borrowers Trapped in Poverty When Government Seizes Their Earned Income Tax Credit. The report compiles stories from borrowers recounting the hardship caused by the federal government’s seizure of their Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) because of a defaulted student loan.

In January 2018, NCLC asked student loan borrowers who had their EITC seized to share their stories and to tell us what they had planned to do with their tax credit. Many borrowers described the things their growing children would have to do without—clothing for the next season, a bed to sleep in, medical care, a roof over their heads, and in some cases, food in their bellies.

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Senate Votes to Roll Back Protections against Reckless Practices that Triggered Great Recession

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 14, 2018 ||  Contacts: Alys Cohen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 595-7852 or Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

Bill Allows Mortgage Lenders to Resume Risky Loans, Weakens Protections against Racial Discrimination and Rural Lending Abuses

Washington – Today, the U.S. Senate passed S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which strips consumers of key protections Congress enacted after the recent financial crisis that devastated communities and crashed the market. The bill rolls back a range of housing protections, leaving homeowners more exposed to lending abuses.

“In the guise of relief for small banks, the Senate bill will hide information on racial discrimination in home lending, loosen protections against volatile adjustable interest rate loans, and expose manufactured home borrowers to overpriced loans,” said Alys Cohen, staff attorney in the Washington office of the National Consumer Law Center. “At a time when interest rates are rising and bank regulators are pulling back from protecting the public, Congress should be ensuring that consumers can get a fair deal, not opening loopholes for reckless lenders.”

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U.S. Department of Education’s Plan to Protect Servicers and Debt Collectors that Lie to Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 9, 2018 || Contacts: Persis Yu (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

Boston - The U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that federal law preempts state efforts to stop unfair and deceptive actions by federal student loan servicers is merely a flawed attempt to shield servicers and debt collectors from the consequences of their illegal actions, according to advocates at the National Consumer Law Center.

“The Education Department’s purported guidance is contrary to recent court decisions in Massachusetts and Washington and is an outrageous effort to protect unfair and deceptive actions by student loan servicers and to deprive borrowers of their right to prompt, accurate, and timely service on their student loans,” said Persis Yu, staff attorney and director of the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. “Servicers and collectors who mistreat student loan borrowers and steer them into inappropriate payment plans should not be above the law,” she added.

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How Well Do States Protect Consumers from Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 8, 2018 || Contacts: Carolyn Carter (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

National Consumer Law Center Survey Finds Many Weaknesses in Most State Laws

Download the full report, a state-by-state chart comparison, 14 comparative maps, capsule summaries of each state and the District of Columbia laws, and summaries of each entity’s statutes at: http://bit.ly/2DJKbGp

Boston – Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) state laws prohibit deceptive practices in consumer transactions, such as sales of cars and other goods, loans, home improvements, utility contracts, and mortgage transactions. A new report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) finds that in many states, these statutes fall far short of their goal of deterring and remedying a broad range of predatory, deceptive, and unscrupulous business practices. “Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices laws should be the backbone of consumer protection in every state, but significant gaps or weaknesses in almost all states undermine the promise of these vital protections so the deck is stacked against consumers,” said Carolyn Carter, National Consumer Law Center Deputy Director and author of Consumer Protection in the States: A 50-State Evaluation of Unfair and Deceptive Practices Laws.

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Texas Lawyers and Law Professors Urge Representative Gonzalez to Withdraw Support of Bill that Would Harm Texas Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 26, 2018 || Contacts: Mary Spector (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); NCLC: April Kuhenhoff (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.)

Dallas – Nearly 80 attorneys and law professors from every corner of Texas sent a letter on Monday to U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX15th) urging him to drop sponsorship of a bill that would severely weaken the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and instead work with them to defeat the bill. H.R. 4550 would carve out an exception, just for attorneys, and immunize them from liability when they abuse the debt collection process in court. This protection would come at the expense of law-abiding collectors and attorneys and hurt Texas consumers and their Texas families.
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U.S. Dept. of Education Rewards Shoddy Practices of Servicers and Private Debt Collectors while Hammering Borrowers and Taxpayers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 26, 2018 || Contacts: Persis Yu (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

The following statement is by Persis Yu, National Consumer Law Center attorney and director of NCLC’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project.

“The Education Department’s reported plan to immunize student loan servicers and collection agencies from state law demonstrates a true indifference to the plight of millions of student loan borrowers struggling to repay their student loans and getting little to no help from their servicers. Servicers and collectors who mistreat student loan borrowers and steer them into inappropriate payment plans should not be above the law.

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Advocates to FCC: Do More, Much More to Block Unwanted Robocalls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 23, 2018 || NCLC 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); Consumers Union: Kara Kelber (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (202) 462-6262); Consumer Federation of America: Susan Grant (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Washington – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed new rules to clarify that voice service providers may block some spoofed robocalls. But much more must be done, according to comments filed with the FCC by advocates from the National Consumer Law Center, Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, National Association of Consumer Advocates, and Public Citizen.

“The FCC rules do something: they allow telephone companies to block spoofed calls from numbers that do not actually exist. But spoofers have simply moved to make fraudulent calls from real numbers—meaning that the rules do not cut down on the spoofed calls at all,” said National Consumer Law Center Senior Counsel Margot Saunders. “It’s like closing one door of a double door to keep the mice out—all the vermin will simply rush through the other door. Moreover, the rules are not even mandatory so telephone companies are free to ignore them.”

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Advocacy Organizations Urge FCC to Step Back From Radical Proposals that Will Jeopardize Affordable Voice and Internet for Millions of Low-Income Veterans, Families with Children, and Older Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 21, 2018
National Consumer Law Center contacts: Olivia Wein (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

 


Washington - Today the National Consumer Law Center along with 20 other civil rights and consumer advocacy organizations filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the Commission to preserve the role of the federal Lifeline program to help low-income households afford modern voice and internet service. “The intent of the Lifeline program is to help low-income households afford essential voice and data service. This package of proposals runs the risk of harming over eight million Lifeline households and millions more eligible veterans, older Americans, and households with school-aged children,” said Olivia Wein, staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center.
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