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New Rights for Homeowners Exiting COVID-19 Forbearances

A new CFPB interim final rule provides an exception for mortgage servicer compliance with loss mitigation evaluations for borrowers exiting a COVID-19 forbearance, but only if the borrowers are given important rights. This article explains that forborne payments are deferred, interest free, until the end of the loan term, no fees can be charged, any delinquency is canceled, and the borrower can still apply for alternative loss mitigation.

Consumer Credit Regulation, Third Edition, Now Available in Print + Digital Formats

Consumer Credit Regulation (3d ed. November 2020) (1040 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. This treatise covers credit cards, payday loans, auto finance, and other non-mortgage credit. Subscribe now for instant access to this treatise. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

Protecting Wages, Benefits, and Bank Accounts from Judgment Creditors

Financial distress exacerbated by the current epidemic will soon result in millions of judgments against consumers in collection lawsuits. This article details federal and particularly state law exemptions and other protections and strategies that limit these judgment creditors from garnishing consumer wages and freezing and seizing consumer bank accounts. Additional key resources are also listed.

Mortgage Relief for Homeowners Affected By COVID-19

Updated: Sept. 23, 2020

This article provides tips and explains new protections for homeowners having difficulty making mortgage payments. Included are federal and state forbearance programs and moratoria on foreclosures. Just as important, the article explains how to apply for forbearance, how forbearance prevents foreclosure, and what mortgage repayment options are available once the forbearance period expires.

Major Consumer Protections Announced in Response to COVID-19

This article lists a growing number of actions Congress, governors, federal and state agencies, and companies are taking to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic: suspensions on foreclosures, evictions, and terminations on telecommunications and utility service, elimination of interest and forbearance on student loan payments and home mortgages, and more. Updated: Aug. 13, 2020

Essential Reading for FDCPA Practitioners

Almost every FDCPA (as well as TCPA, FCRA, and TILA) case these days faces a Spokeo challenge. All consumer litigant in federal court must understand the latest Spokeo rulings. This article provides a survey of all circuit court FDCPA Spokeo rulings, as well as setting out key strategic decisions in bringing federal court consumer claims.

Sup. Ct. Sets Standard for Consumer Relief for Collection on Debt Discharged in Bankruptcy

On June 3, the Supreme Court set the standard for consumer recovery of damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees for collection of debts discharged in bankruptcy. This article also explains that judgments on discharged debts are void, describes the advantages of FDCPA remedies, and provides a comparison between remedies for automatic stay violations and discharge violations.

Supreme Court: Class & Federal Claims Can Stay in State Court

A Supreme Court May 28 ruling supports the right of consumers sued in state court to avoid removal to federal court when they bring class or federal claims in that state court action, even against third parties. As examined in this article, the ruling gives consumers some control over the decision whether to litigate in state or federal court.

Supreme Court May 13 Ruling Underscores Advantages of False Claims Act Litigation

A recent Supreme Court decision in Cochise Consultancy is favorable for private litigation under the federal False Claims Act (FCA). This article explains how the decision also underscores that FCA litigation has a number of advantages to challenge consumer abuses compared with class actions under traditional consumer causes of action.

Increase of Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions, Other Dollar Amounts: April 1, 2019

Effective April 1, consumers filing bankruptcy will be able to exempt more of their equity in their homes, cars, household goods, and even retirement accounts. This article describes all the bankruptcy dollar amount changes going into effect April 1.

Collection Actions, Fifth Edition, Now Available in Print + Digital Formats

Collection Actions (5th ed. Oct. 2020) (778 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. This is the definitive manual on defending lawsuits to collect credit card and other consumer debt, including special tactics for medical, government, and criminal justice debt. Subscribe now for instant access to this treatise. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

Credit Discrimination Statutes Offer Underutilized Consumer Remedies

A September 3, 2020, HUD action to limit Fair Housing Act disparate impact claims underscores the underutilized power of credit discrimination statutes to remedy marketplace misconduct affecting communities of color and other vulnerable consumers. This article describes the power, broad scope, and varied applications of federal and state credit discrimination statutes, and also sets out the implications for consumer lawyers of the HUD rule change.

New July Student Loan Rule Amendments: What Changes and What Does Not

New U.S. Department of Education rules, effective July 1, 2020, create complexity as to applicable requirements concerning the borrower defense discharge, the closed school discharge, and school use of mandatory arbitration clauses. This article explains varying rules for loans issued prior to July 1, 2017, from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020, and after July 1, 2020.

Impact of Supreme Court Seila Law Ruling on CFPB Constitutionality

The Supreme Court’s June 29th decision in Seila Law allows the President to remove at will the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director, but it saves the rest of the Bureau’s authority. This article explains some of the decision’s implications for the CFPB, the FHFA, and other independent agencies. Of special note is the CFPB’s July 7th ratification of almost all of its existing rules and other past actions and its July 7th repeal of most parts of the payday loan rule.

Supreme Court Rules on Robocallers

A July 6, 2020 Supreme Court decision in Barr applies the same Telephone Consumer Protection Act restrictions on robocalls to collect government debt as apply to other robocalls. Otherwise the exemption for government debt would unconstitutionally favor one form of speech content over another. This article examines the ruling’s implications for litigation involving robocalls to collect government debt, other robocall litigation, and even First Amendment litigation regarding other consumer statutes.

Free Access to NCLC’s Criminal Justice Debt Chapter, Litigation Guide

During the national conversation around policing practices, the public has free access to two just-released NCLC resources on defending consumers against draconian enforcement of criminal justice debt, bail bond abuses, and price gouging by private companies offering services to those incarcerated. This article highlights their content with links to specific topics in Commercialized (In)justice Litigation Guide and, for a limited time, in Collection Actions Chapter 11.

2020 Edition of NCLC’s Consumer Arbitration Agreements Now Available

Consumer Arbitration Agreements (8th ed. May 2020) (444 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. In almost every area of consumer litigation today, the first question is whether the case can be forced into binding arbitration. This treatise is the definitive treatment on the subject and includes a new chapter on how to conduct a winning consumer arbitration. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

Enforcing the CARES Act Credit Reporting Protections

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.

Protecting Against Creditor Seizure of Stimulus Checks

Creditors with court judgments against consumers may seek to garnish stimulus payments from consumers’ bank accounts. This article explains the threat, lists tips to determine accounts at risk, explains how Americans will receive stimulus payments, and provides advice on preventing garnishment, depending on whether payment is by direct deposit or by paper check.

Emergency Free Access to Surviving Debt, State-by-State Exemption Summaries

Access free NCLC resources during the COVID-19 emergency, including Surviving Debt (2020, 288 pp.), a summary of each of the 50 states' exemption protections, an article listing over 100 consumer protections just implemented, and NCLC's COVID-19 website. By offering free resources and 30% discounts on new subscriptions, NCLC seeks to facilitate advocacy on behalf of consumers during this emergency. Read more about the resources here.