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Holding Off Foreclosures While Homeowners Await Billions in HAF Payments

March 8, 2022

Only about half the states are now accepting homeowner applications for payments from the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), and few funds so far have been distributed. At the same time, because of the end of many COVID-19 related homeowner protections, large numbers of homeowners may soon face foreclosure. This article explains which homeowners are eligible for HAF payments and explores solutions...

Congressional, First Circuit, CFPB, and VA Actions Affecting Fair Credit Reporting

February 18, 2022

A Congressional amendment, a First Circuit decision, two CFPB administrative issuances, a CFPB report, and a Veterans Administration rule all will have significant consequences for consumer reporting under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This article provides the highlights of these recent developments and their implications for consumers, advocates, and FCRA practitioners.

Hidden Consumer Rights and Remedies Regarding Private Student Loans

February 10, 2022

Widespread misrepresentation about private student loans not being dischargeable in bankruptcy leads to significant consumer remedies. This article explains how to tell if a private student loan is dischargeable in bankruptcy, and sets out remedies where creditors misrepresent that a loan is non-dischargeable or continue collection after a bankruptcy discharges the loan. Other claims are listed against private student loan lenders.

Consumer Advice Dealing with Debt Collectors—Including the New Federal Rules

January 31, 2022

This article provides advice to consumers in dealing with debt collectors, taking into consideration new consumer rights and new consumer risks flowing from federal rules that just went into effect on November 30, 2021. The article: provides nine ways to stop debt harassment, with sample letters; explains the limits of what collectors can really do; and lists illegal debt collection conduct that can lead to consumer claims.

New Student Loan Discharges, Restitution, and Payment Pause Extension

January 25, 2022

This article explains the implications two new student loan developments. A Navient settlement discharges on average $25,000 of debt for 66,000 private student loan borrowers and provides $260 restitution to 365,000 federal Direct Loan borrowers. The Department of Education has extended its suspension of federal student loan payments until May 1, 2022, with the balance accruing at zero percent interest.

Defenses to Collection of Rental Debt

January 13, 2022

This article provides tenant tactics to deal with rental debt: responding to negative tenant screening reports that prevent access to new housing; challenging the rental amount claimed as due; other defenses to rental debt collection lawsuits and eight ways for the tenant to recover attorney fees in that litigation; tenant rights after a court judgment for the landlord; and tenants’ affirmative litigation for the collector’s litigation abuse.

Consumer Law Rights Taking Effect In 2022

December 29, 2021

In 2022 significant new federal and state consumer law rights will be effective, and other rights are set to expire or have been extended. This article sets out, as of January 1, 2022, the effective dates for all of these changes, including changes effective from November 30, 2021 through January 1, 2023.

Free Access to Just-Updated Chapter on COVID-Related Homeowner Protections

December 7, 2021

This article provides links to the latest COVID-related homeowner protections for different types of mortgages and homeowner financial circumstances. Links go to an extensively updated NCLC chapter, which is, for a limited time, free to the public. Also linked is a discussion of an important foreclosure defense based on servicer noncompliance with these homeowner protections.

Defending Nursing Home Collection Lawsuits

November 15, 2021

Nursing homes too often sue without justification not only residents, but family members or caregivers for amounts that can exceed $100,000. This article introduces defenses that residents and especially third parties can raise to these collection lawsuits. Affirmative claims that can be brought against the collection attorney and nursing home are examined, and additional resources are provided.

Now Available: Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices, Tenth Edition

November 1, 2021

Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (10th ed. 2021) (1,056 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. This is an essential revision of the most important consumer law statute in all 50 states, adding thousands of new federal and state cases since the last edition. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

Twelve Reasons to Bring Reverse Redlining Claims Against Predatory Lenders

October 31, 2021

This article provides 12 reasons for bringing reverse redlining claims against predatory lenders, under the Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Housing, and/or Civil Rights Acts. Reverse redlining targets predatory practices at communities of color or other protected groups, whether or not better terms are offered elsewhere. Recent cases bringing reverse redlining claims are included.

Twelve Tips for Homeowners After Natural Disasters

September 13, 2021

This article advises homeowners after natural disasters: FEMA aid and other sources of help and grants; avoiding insurance, home repair, and municipal code problems; forbearance of mortgage payments, loan modifications after exiting forbearance, and foreclosure avoidance; and preparing for the next natural disaster. Links providing far more detail are open to all readers for a limited time.

TCPA Litigation After Recent Supreme Court, FCC, Other Rulings

September 3, 2021

This article sets out practice implications of three recent Supreme Court cases, two FCC rulings, and other court decisions dramatically reshaping TCPA litigation: Article III standing; the autodialer definition; constitutionality of TCPA claims arising prior to an unconstitutional provision’s severance; general limits on prerecorded calls; new limits on debt collector-recorded calls to residential lines; and seller liability for “do-not-call” rule violations.

New CFPB Rule Protects Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

August 5, 2021

This article explains in detail important CFPB amendments to RESPA Reg. X taking effect August 31 affecting mortgage servicer early intervention and loss mitigation requirements. The rule provides new rights to homeowners exiting mortgage loan forbearances or experiencing a COVID-related payment hardships—rights applicable not just to federally insured mortgages, but to almost every home mortgage in America.

Fourteen New Federal Actions Protecting Mortgage Borrowers

July 28, 2021

In one short month—from June 24 to July 23, 2021—the White House, FHA, VA, USDA, and FHFA (for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have announced 14 separate actions helping mortgage borrowers facing financial hardship from the pandemic. This article summarizes each of the 14, links to the full text of each action, and links to specific subsections of NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Lo

Corporate Bankruptcy 101 for Consumer Attorneys (New Free Flow Chart)

July 16, 2021

Corporate bankruptcies pose unique challenges and opportunities for attorneys representing students at predatory schools, tenants, homeowners with mortgages, and consumers of goods, services, or credit. An online interactive flow chart is now open to the public, Corporate Bankruptcy 101 for Consumer Litigators. This article links to and describes how the free flow chart provides step-by-step instructions on representing consumers in corporate bankruptcies.

Implications of New CFPB Bulletin on Consumer Reporting of Renters

July 16, 2021

On July 1, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an Enforcement Compliance Bulletin (hereafter Rental Reporting Bulletin) on consumer reporting issues involving tenant screening reports as well as the reporting of rental information on credit reports. This article outlines key aspects of this “Rental Reporting Bulletin,” highlights the most important implications for...