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Twelve Tips for Homeowners After Natural Disasters

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

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.

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

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.

Practice Implications of June 25 Supreme Court Ramirez Decision

The Supreme Court’s June 25 Ramirez decision reshapes constitutional standing for federal court FCRA, FDCPA, TILA, TCPA, RESPA and other individual and class cases based on consumer statutes. This article details Ramirez’s practice implications for varied types of consumer injury, provides pleading and proof tips, and explains how initiating a case in state court may alleviate standing problems.

New CFPB Rule Protects Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

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.

Implications of New CFPB Bulletin on Consumer Reporting of Renters

A looming rental eviction crisis also will have severe consequences for evicted renters' credit and tenant screening reports, blocking renters' access to future housing. This article explains the implications for private FCRA litigants of a July CFPB bulletin that enumerates both longstanding abusive tenant reporting practices and new problems brought on by the pandemic.

New Protections for Homeowners with VA Mortgages, Effective July 27

A new VA final rule, effective July 27, provides new rights for homeowners exiting a COVID-19 related forbearance program. Forborne payments will not be due until the end of the mortgage term and are interest-free. This article describes both this new right to defer forborne payments and options for homeowners who cannot afford their regular monthly payments that become due after exiting forbearance.

Effective May 3 New Federal Debt Collection Rule on Eviction Practices

This article explains a new CFPB Interim Final Rule, effective May 3, 2021, that increases information for tenants about COVID-related protection from eviction. The article also details tenants’ federal remedies against eviction attorneys and other debt collectors involved in the eviction that fail to provide or misrepresent that information.

The FDCPA Year in Review: 2020

This article reviews a very active 2020 concerning the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The article focuses on two sets of final Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules on the FDCPA, one published in November and the other announced in December, and then summarizes all of the relevant 2020 circuit court of appeals FDCPA cases.

Debunking Claims TCPA Unconstitutional for Robocalls from 2015 to 2020

This article provides a summary and link to a Public Justice paper that debunks claims (successful in two district courts and popping up everywhere now) that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is unconstitutional as applied to all robocalls from 2015 to July 6, 2020.

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.

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. Final Update: 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.

Fourteen New Federal Actions Protecting Mortgage Borrowers

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 Loan Modifications for background detail on the subject of each action.

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

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.

Starting July 15: Protecting the Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments from Creditors

Starting July 15, families will receive each month an advance child tax credit up to $300 per child per month. This article examines existing consumer protections to safeguard payments from judgment creditors’ bank account garnishment and from the United States’ intercept to repay defaulted federal student loans. The article also considers tactics to protect paper check payments from garnishment.