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Enforcing the CARES Act Credit Reporting Protections

May 4, 2020
This article explains private enforcement of new credit reporting rights provided consumers by the CARES Act. The article details when the rights are applicable, how creditors must implement those rights, steps consumers can take to enforce those rights, and special enforcement rights for California consumers.

March 21 Deadline for Servicers to Assign to HUD Certain Reverse Mortgages to Protect Surviving Spouses

March 12, 2020
HUD created a March 21st deadline for reverse mortgage servicers to assign the reverse mortgage to HUD without financial penalty in order to protect certain surviving non-borrower spouses from foreclosure. This article explains the meaning of the deadline and what actions non-borrowing surviving spouses should take so that they can remain in their homes. For a certain category of surviving spouses, it is important to act before March 21.

Checklist to Defend Enforcement of Criminal Justice Debt

February 27, 2020
As states increasingly assess criminal defendants with fines, surcharges, costs, and fees, draconian actions to collect that debt are on the rise. This checklist sets out tools to help consumers avoid the worst of these collection actions that can lead to incarceration, loss of driver’s licenses, wage garnishment, seizure of bank accounts, or other drastic measures.

How to Add or Edit Additional Usernames

February 11, 2020
The previous page (Additional Usernames) indicates how many additional usernames are available for each treatise subscription. As long as usernames are available for a particular treatise subscription, simply add a name, username and email address below to create an additional username for that subscription. That individual will receive an email explaining how to set up a private password. In...

Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness Exclusion Revived and Extended

February 4, 2020
Congress has just revived and extended the QPRI exclusion, an important protection for struggling homeowners. As discussed in this article, now a homeowner with a short sale or other modification of their home mortgage loan principal can avoid tax liability on debt forgiven during tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020, despite receiving a 1099 indicating the forgiven debt as income.

Consumer Law Changes Taking Effect in 2020

January 8, 2020
This article lists federal and state consumer law changes that already are scheduled to go into effect in 2020. The article also lists several changes that were effective in December of 2019. Of course, other consumer law changes will be enacted later this year and go into effect this year; this article lists those changes whose effective dates have already been scheduled for this year.

Fertile Ground for FCRA Claims: Employee & Tenant Background Checks

December 16, 2019
About 94% of employers and 90% of landlords contract for criminal background checks to evaluate prospective employees and tenants, but these reports are riddled with errors, including erroneous reports of criminal convictions. This article describes widespread errors in criminal background check reports and examines applicable FCRA claims and remedies for these errors.

How to Successfully Arbitrate a Case

December 9, 2019
This article provides step-by-step advice on how to successfully proceed in arbitration. When a challenge to an arbitration requirement fails, proper client representation may require resorting to arbitration as the only available avenue for relief. Every consumer attorney should be prepared to arbitrate a case—the right case before the right arbitrator will produce excellent results.

Federal Remedies for Used Car Fraud Just Got Even More Powerful

November 20, 2019
This article explains the implications for private litigation of a significant change, effective January 1, 2020, to the federal statute providing remedies for odometer and vehicle titling fraud. Older vehicles formerly exempt will now be covered by strict requirements whose violation will lead to powerful consumer remedies, including $10,000 minimum damages, treble damages, and attorney fees.

How to Protect Wages and Benefits from Creditors

November 12, 2019
This article explains what every attorney needs to know about protecting clients from wage garnishment and seizure of public benefits, wages, and other funds in bank accounts. The article explains how to both evaluate and reduce a consumer’s exposure to these post-judgment remedies, considers the special case of federal student loans, and details important federal and state law protections in each of the 50 states.

Courts in 2019 Reshape the TCPA in 8 Ways—Mostly to the Good

October 17, 2019
As discussed in this article, a slew of 2019 court rulings are reshaping private litigation against robocallers. The federal student loan collectors’ exemption was declared unconstitutional; the Supreme Court issued smoke signals on the weight given FCC orders; the TCPA was ruled applicable to new types of robocalls; cases interpreted whether predictive dialers are covered; and Spokeo challenges generally lost.

Student Loan Servicers Now Subject to Borrowers’ State Law Claims

August 14, 2019
Recent circuit and district court decisions find federal preemption inapplicable to many state law deception claims against student loan servicers. The article lists common servicer abuses, explains how the new cases reject the Department of Education’s preemption claims, and analyzes which state law claims will be most effective in seeking remedies from student loan servicers.