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

Consumer Advocates Urge House Members to Halt Bank Payday Loan Legislation in Committee Markup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2018 || Contacts: Jan Kruse (National Consumer Law Center): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Ricardo Quinto (Center for Responsible Lending):ricardo.quintoresponsiblelending.org; Carter Dougherty (Americans for Financial Reform): carterourfinancialsecurity.org

H.R. 4861 would invite banks back into the business of making harmful 200-300% interest rate loans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today in a committee markup meeting scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET, the Committee on Financial Services is scheduled to begin considering a bill aimed at weakening consumer protections for Americans and opening the floodgate for abusive predatory lending practices. H.R. 4861, the so-called “Ensuring Quality Unbiased Access to Loans” (EQUAL) Act, authored by Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), will promote harmful predatory lending.

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Ball is Now in FCC Chairman Pai’s Court to Protect Consumers from Robocalls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 16, 2018 || 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.)

Long-awaited Court Decision Rolls Back Protections for Consumers from Invasive, Illegal Robocalls

Washington – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals bounced back a 2015 Order from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) consumer protections against unwanted robocalls. Disappointingly, the court order unwound key protections that the previous FCC had imposed against unwanted calls to cell phones that plague consumers.

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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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