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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

On Anniversary of 7th Amendment, More than 400 Professors in All 50 States Urge Congress Not to Take Away Our Day in Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Letter Opposes Effort to Block Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rule that Restores Access to the Courts Eliminated through Fine Print Forced Arbitration Clauses

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, on the anniversary of Congress’s passage of the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1789, a group of 423 leading law school, university, and college professors from all 50 states urged Senators to uphold the Constitution and preserve consumer’s rights to their day in court, in a letter sent to the U.S. Senate opposing efforts to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new arbitration rule.

“Class action lawsuits are an important means of protecting consumers harmed by violations of federal or state law. Class actions enable a court to see that a company’s violations are widespread and to order appropriate relief.... Individual arbitrations are not a realistic substitute for class actions... The U.S. legal system depends on private enforcement of rights,” the professors wrote.

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Housing and Consumer Groups Statement on California A.B. 1284’s PACE Loan Ability-to-Repay Provisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

Numerous Loopholes Leave Homeowners and California Communities at Risk

Today, the California Assembly is scheduled to vote on Assembly Bill 1284, a wide-ranging bill to regulate aspects of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans. The bill in part addresses how PACE administrators should assess a homeowner’s ability to repay the loan, how the administrator should evaluate the value of the property, and other underwriting requirements regarding the property and property owner.

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Statement of National Consumer Law Center Staff Attorney Chi Chi Wu on the Equifax Data Breach that Affected 143 Million Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 || Contacts: Chi Chi Wu (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 massive Equifax data breach is one of the largest in our country’s history, affecting half of the United States population and nearly three-quarters of consumers with credit reports. Chances are, this affects YOU. Plus, the stolen information is the mother lode of sensitive personal data that can be used for identity theft: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers. Also, was highly revealing credit reporting account information stolen, such as student loan or mortgage payment account numbers and payment histories? This information could be used for phishing schemes or other fraud.
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Tens of Millions of Consumers Will Benefit from New Rules for Medical Debt on Credit Reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2017 || Contacts: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Jenifer Bosco (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Chi Chi Wu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); 617.542.8010

New Model State Law Can Help Consumers Manage Medical Debt and Unfair Collection Practices

BOSTON − Effective September 15, 2017, the three largest credit reporting agencies−Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion−will no longer report medical debts that are less than six months past due on credit reports and will also remove medical debts if the debt is later paid by insurance. The two changes are the result of a settlement between attorneys general in 31 states and the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies in a separate settlement with the New York Attorney General.

“Medical debts are a huge portion of the negative information in credit reports, making up about half of debt collection black marks appearing on these reports and affecting one in five consumers with a credit report, or 43 million Americans,” noted National Consumer Law Center attorney Chi Chi Wu, “With credit reports as a gatekeeper to affordable credit, employment, housing, and insurance, these changes should help tens of millions of consumers.”

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NCLC's Attorney Chi Chi Wu to Testify on Sept. 7 before House Financial Services Committee on Six Anti-Consumer Bills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 || Contacts: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Chi Chi Wu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); 617.542.8010

Pending Legislation Would Roll Back Key Consumer Protection Laws and Drastically Reduce Accountability for Company Wrongdoing

Full testimony available before or by 10am EDT on September 7, 2017: https://financialservices.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=402266 

BOSTON – On Thursday, September 7, National Consumer Law Center attorney Chi Chi Wu will testify before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to oppose six bills that would severely harm consumers during the hearing Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime.

“Once again, anti-consumer forces are working overtime to deprive ordinary Americans of rights and protections that were hard-fought and hard-won,” said Wu. “These bills not only hurt consumers, they ultimately have a negative impact on the marketplace by, for example, removing incentives for credit bureaus to ensure accurate information in credit reports.

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Statement re: DeVos Decision to Stop Working with CFPB to Protect Student Loan Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 || 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 Department of Education's decision (issued late last Friday, September 1) to stop cooperating with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFP) and to try to block the CFPB’s efforts to protect student loan borrowers is outrageous and deeply troubling at a time when federal student loan debt has topped $_1.3 trillion. Over the last several years, the CFPB has stood up for students and demonstrated the urgent need for an independent watch dog over student loan servicers and collectors. The CFPB has fought to ensure that struggling borrowers can access the repayment programs they are entitled to. This decision comes on the heels of Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decisions to withdraw guidance intending to provide borrowers basic consumer protections against student loan servicer’s errors and abuse, and to roll back important protections for defrauded student loan borrowers defrauded by predatory for-profit schools. DeVos also just appointed a former DeVry University official to run the Department of Education's enforcement unit, which is responsible for enforcing rules relating to school fraud after DeVry itself had last year agreed to pay $100 million to resolve allegations that it misled students about their job and salary prospects.

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Report: States Battle to Restrain High-Cost Installment Loans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 29, 2017 || CONTACT: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) 617.542.8010

NCLC's 50 State Survey Finds Gains and Losses of Consumer Protections Since 2015

Updated analysis of the laws of 50 states and Washington, D.C., plus maps, charts, tables, and the complete list of recommendations, tips for consumers, and an online interactive map and table sortable by state or loan amount are available at: http://bit.ly/2vRZkEf 

BOSTON - The fight to rein in predatory installment loan laws in the 50 states and the District of Columbia has resulted in significant gains but also some losses for consumers over the last two years, according to an updated analysis by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC).

“In state after state, high-cost lenders have sought to weaken state laws that protect consumers from high-cost installment loans by non-banks,” said Carolyn Carter, deputy director at the National Consumer Law Center and co-author of Predatory Installment Lending in 2017: States Battle to Restrain High-Cost Loans. “Although there are some notable exceptions, consumers and their advocates have not only persuaded legislators to vote down most of these proposals, but have also won improvements in existing state laws.” She cautioned, though, that the fight is by no means over--payday lenders can be expected to be back in force when legislative sessions reopen, pushing for state laws to open the floodgates to predatory installment loans.

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