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Widespread FDCPA Violations in Collection of Medical Debt

December 5, 2023

A new CFPB report highlights the astonishing amount of debt collection seeking medical debt not owed or owed in a lesser amount. This article describes reasons medical debt amounts are often inaccurate (including non-compliance with new federal and state legislation), details why such collection violates several FDCPA provisions, and explains how to overcome the medical debt collector’s legal defenses.

A Must-Read for All Consumer Lawyers: NACA’s New Class Action Guidelines

October 19, 2023

This article explains the top four reasons why the new Fourth Edition of NACA’s Standards and Guidelines for Litigation and Settling Consumer Class Actions is a must-read not only for class action attorneys, but even for lawyers whose practice typically does involve class actions. The article lists the areas covered by the guidelines, changes in the Fourth Edition, and other key NCLC class action resources.

15 Blunders in Seeking an Attorney Fee Award

October 2, 2023

This article sets out 15 blunders to avoid when seeking a statutory attorney fee award. Time records must be “bullet-proof.” The article also explains 8 blunders in filling out time records. The remaining mistakes relate to hours that count for statutory fees, evidence supporting an hourly rate, and the presentation to the court justifying the fee award.

FCRA Remedies When Criminal Records Lead to Rental Denials

September 21, 2023

Too frequently landlords deny rental housing applications based upon tenant screening reports containing erroneous or obsolete criminal record histories. This article discusses widespread problems involving criminal record reporting that may give rise to powerful consumer remedies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The article provides practical, step-by-step guidance for obtaining that relief.

Student Loan Borrower Rights After the Supreme Court Ruling

September 20, 2023

Forty-five million borrowers are scrambling to figure out options for managing their federal student loans before repayments resume this fall. This article sets out new student loan rights: fresh starts for those in default; the SAVE repayment plan; lower interest charges; avoidance of school arbitration provisions; and easier paths to public service loan forgiveness, bankruptcy discharges, and five types of statutory loan cancellations.

Arbitration Litigation Cheat Sheet

September 18, 2023

Much consumer litigation today must deal with arbitration requirements. This arbitration litigation cheat sheet provides a quick listing of consumer options when faced with an arbitration demand—including both options to challenge the enforceability of the arbitration requirement as well as how to proceed in arbitration if that is the only remaining or even preferred option.

5,000 Practice Aids Free on the NCLC Digital Library

August 31, 2023

The NCLC Digital Library contains a lot more than just subscription content. The Library makes free to the public over 5,000 practice aids plus, for members of the consumer law community, another 2,300 videos and speaker written submissions from past NCLC/NACA conferences. All this material can be downloaded and is fully searchable. This article provides ten tips to make the most from these free resources—how to locate and best utilize the practice aids.

Strict New Limits on Prerecorded Debt Collection Calls Effective July 20

July 20, 2023

New TCPA rules, effective July 20, place strict limits on the frequency of prerecorded debt collection calls to landlines. This article explains why the new rules increase protections beyond those of FDCPA Regulation F and offer victimized consumers greater statutory damages than the FDCPA, while statutory damages under both statutes do not face Article III standing concerns for unwanted calls.

Overcoming the Latest Supreme Court Arbitration Decision

July 17, 2023

The recent Supreme Court ruling in Coinbase creates another impediment to consumer litigation: even when a consumer defeats an arbitration requirement, if the company then pursues an interlocutory appeal of that ruling, discovery and other proceedings are automatically put on hold until that appeal is resolved. This article offers five approaches to avoid or ameliorate the effect of this new obstacle to consumer litigation handed down by the Supreme Court.

Protecting Federal Claims by Using State Courts

June 26, 2023

This article describes advantages and tactics in bringing federal consumer claims in state court, in response to Supreme Court decisions that narrow federal court standing requirements under Article III of the Constitution. Also detailed are a just-updated state-by-state analysis of state court standing rules, analysis why federal court standing requirements do not apply to federal claims in state courts, and a summary of advantages of litigating federal claims in state courts.

Supreme Court Stops Equity Theft in Property Tax Foreclosures

June 1, 2023

This article explains the broader and practical implications of a May 25 Supreme Court decision that a local government taking of a home at a property tax foreclosure violated the Fifth Amendment’s Taking Clause. Also analyzed are property tax foreclosure issues not resolved by the decision, as well as eleven practical tips to avoid loss of a home for unpaid property taxes, with links to additional resources.

28 Consumer Rights to Request Information, Company Record Retention Requirements

May 8, 2023

This article sets out 28 obligations of creditors, collectors, and merchants to provide information to consumers upon request or to retain consumer records for several years. These requirements assist consumer practitioners in developing the facts in a case, help consumers understand the nature of their transactions, and may provide statutory damages for their violation.

Homeowner Tactics to Overcome Problems with Tangled Titles

April 20, 2023

A new NCLC Digital Library article sets out practical solutions to problems arising from a homeowner's death in dealing with mortgages, foreclosures, reverse mortgages, property taxes and tax sales, utilities, and relief after natural disasters. The advice focuses where a home’s title is tangled—the home is stuck in probate or families living in a home for generations have never properly transferred the home’s title.

The Latest Developments on Constitutionality of CFPB Regulations

March 30, 2023

This article examines important developments at the Supreme Court, Second Circuit, and the district courts since the Fifth Circuit’s October ruling that the CFPB’s funding mechanism is unconstitutional and that a CFPB rule must thus be vacated. The article also offers updated litigation practice pointers for cases involving CFPB rules where defendants may challenge the rule’s validity based on the CFPB’s funding mechanism.

New Supreme Court Ruling: When Is a Bankruptcy Debtor on the Hook for Partner’s Fraud?

March 2, 2023

A February 22 Supreme Court ruling affects divorced or separated spouses and victims of economic abuse and coerced debt. The ruling encourages bankruptcy creditors to bring nondischargeability actions against innocent debtors based upon fraudulent actions of spouses or domestic partners. This article sets out five ways to counter such challenges and to discharge the debts in bankruptcy.

New Angles in Challenging Rent-a-Bank Schemes

February 7, 2023

Predatory lenders use rent-a-bank schemes to avoid the consumer’s home state usury limits by piggybacking onto federal rate exportation rights available only to banks. This article explains how banks and others participating in a rent-a-bank scheme could be in for a big surprise. They may not be immune from the consumer’s home state regulation of matters other than the actual interest rate, leading to powerful consumer remedies.

Protecting Awards for Named Plaintiffs; Other Class Action Practice Tips

January 11, 2023

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.

New Consumer Law Rights Taking Effect in 2023

January 3, 2023

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 Process to Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy

December 12, 2022

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.