This article provides practical steps to respond to an Eleventh Circuit ruling prohibiting extra recoveries for class representatives—a ruling that can cause havoc with prosecution of consumer class actions. The article also explains how to use the Supreme Court’s Ramirez case to breathe new life into state court class actions and highlights available practice tools from today’s most successful consumer class action practitioners.
This article summarizes all 2022 FDCPA published circuit court of appeals decisions. Of special note are seven decisions on constitutional standing. Other topics include the unsophisticated consumer standard, attorney fees, the bona fide error defense, FDCPA intersection with TILA, FDCPA scope, third-party communications, FDCPA claims based on state law, and sanctions.
This article lists new federal and state consumer law rights going into effect from Nov. 17, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2023. Highlights include: extensive rights for student loan borrowers; protections concerning medical debt, collection lawsuits, robocalls, reverse mortgages and privacy; increased homestead, property, and wage garnishment exemptions; interest rate caps; bankruptcy practice changes; and 14 new California laws.
New federal Guidance should make it far easier to obtain a bankruptcy discharge of student loans. Completing a simple Attestation Form may lead to an agreement to settle the debtor’s undue hardship discharge proceeding. This article explains the new Guidance’s significance, scope, and limits, and then sets out in 10 steps the process to complete the Attestation Form and seek a discharge of student loans.
Effective December 1, 2022, three amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules go into effect that deal with the debtor’s notice to creditors or the U.S. trustee. In general, these amendments simplify the practice of consumer bankruptcy law and this article explains each rule amendment and how it changes existing bankruptcy practice.Effective December 1, New Rules Simplify a Consumer Bankruptcy Practice
The Fifth Circuit just found the CFPB lacked authority to issue the Payday Lending Rule because the CFPB’s funding is unconstitutional. This article explains the potentially earth-shattering implications for consumer litigation based on CFPB rules interpreting TILA, FDCPA, FCRA, RESPA, and more, and offers detailed practice advice when consumer attorneys now pursue such claims.
Here are our five favorite new features on the revamped NCLC Digital Library, giving you a faster, easier reading experience, letting you view extra content related to the page you are viewing, adding powerful new search options, offering at no charge over 1400 written submissions at NCLC conferences, and including free to the public 6000 chapter and appendix subsections.
The definitive consumer bankruptcy treatise is updated with new case law, an amendment increasing chapter 13 debt limits, new 2022 Bankruptcy Code dollar amounts, the new initial forms, rules effective December 1, 2021, and updated means test data. Learn more and read Chapter One here.
This article provides practice pointers for attorney fee hearings, based on the author’s 44 years of trial experience handling exclusively consumer law cases. The article focuses on time records and other steps to take well before the hearing, use of a 50-state survey of consumer attorney fee rates, getting ready for the hearing, and tips for conduct of the hearing itself.
This article describes new major relief for student loan borrowers: $10,000 or $20,000 for millions of borrowers, and added relief for those in public service, in default, with disabilities, attending specific schools, with private loans, or with IDR plans. New loan servicers and no more private debt collectors. The article links to more detail and sets out steps borrowers should take now to make the most of the offered relief.
This article provides practical tips for advising clients with debt incurred by an abusive partner through coercion and fraud—developing a safety plan, documenting the coerced debt, protecting bank accounts, dealing with unauthorized credit card use, preventing an abuser from opening new accounts in the victimized partner’s name, addressing coerced debt on a credit report, and dealing with home mortgages.
This article examines practice implications of three recent CFPB interpretations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, including: tenant and background screening companies’ use of name-only matching violates the FCRA; users are strictly liable for permissible use violations; and state law can limit when medical debt, evictions, rental arrears, and criminal records can first be reported.
This article explains that a June 29 HUD policy change eases the path for FHA borrowers to seek a loan modification even where a co-borrower cannot execute the modification because of death, divorce, separation, domestic violence, or other life events. Also covered are similar Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies, and borrower tactics when servicers require participation of unavailable co-borrowers.
The Supreme Court’s June 30 decision in West Virginia v. EPA is significant in its application of the “major question doctrine” to agency rulemaking, and consumer lawyers can expect to see this doctrine raised as a defense in their cases. This article explains the doctrine, why it is inapplicable to almost all consumer litigation, and provides five tips to show that it is inapplicable.
A new CFPB advisory opinion not only clarifies when “pay-to-pay” fees are prohibited, but also whether a wide array of other debt collector charges violate the FDCPA. This article provides numerous examples of potentially illegal debt collector charges under the just-announced standards. A Truth in Lending Act provision provides even stronger remedies for fees added to automated payments for credit card debt.
This article provides ten pleading tips when bringing Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims based on the new requirements found in CFPB Regulation F. The article then surveys recent federal court complaints alleging Regulation F violations as indicative of the violation patterns emerging in the six months since the Regulation’s effective date. The article links to the full text of complaints illustrating the types of violations being alleged.
A May 26 California Supreme Court decision is the most important interpretation of the FTC Holder Rule in 45 years, setting out in detail reasons why the rule does not cap a consumer’s attorney fee award against the creditor. This article describes the decision’s significance to consumer litigation, explains how the ruling applies in other states, and lists twelve other important features of the FTC Holder Rule.
On May 22, the Supreme Court overruled nine circuits in holding that a defendant’s waiver of arbitration must be treated like any other contractual right. No showing of prejudice to the plaintiff need be shown. This article examines the decision and arbitration waiver law generally. Importantly, also considered are the decision’s implications to assist a broad array of challenges to arbitration requirements.
This article explains why an April 28, 2022, Supreme Court ruling concerning the unavailability of emotional distress damages applies only to four federal discrimination statutes, links to practice tips when otherwise seeking emotional distress damages, and considers whether emotional distress alone is sufficient for federal court constitutional standing.
This article examines an April 21, 2022, Supreme Court decision with important application to the equitable tolling of limitations periods found in federal consumer statutes. The article explains when equitable tolling should be available, lists actions justifying equitable tolling, and considers other approaches to extending limitations periods, including the fraud discovery rule.