A May 6th HUD guidance provides new protections allowing non-borrowing spouses to remain in a home after the spouse borrowing on a reverse mortgage moves to a long-term care facility or passes away. This article details the new protections, examines other foreclosure risks with a reverse mortgage, and sets out borrower rights and strategies to avoid those additional risks of foreclosure.
Unpaid criminal justice debt can have draconian consequences, and this article explains how a bankruptcy filing can sometimes be effective in reducing that debt. Although criminal fines and restitution orders are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, other portions of a filer’s criminal justice debt may be dischargeable. The article also links to several resources covering this topic: a free May 13 webinar, a recent report, and NCLC treatises.
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.
This article examines nine ways that manufactured home creditors face unique legal exposure to consumer claims and remedies, including recent developments that may increase such creditor liability. Examples are a federal ban on arbitration clauses in manufactured home credit, special statutes making manufactured home creditors liable for warranty violations, statutory damages of tens of thousands of dollars for UCC Article 9 violations, and more.
New March 27, 2021, bankruptcy legislation now extends the sunset dates of the three CARES Act bankruptcy provisions. This article explains the new law and then provides a “cheat sheet” listing all ten of the COVID-19 related bankruptcy provisions by sunset date, with links to more detail for each provision and also Public Law and U.S. Code citations.
NCLC’s new chapter on homeowner rights during the COVID pandemic is free to the public for a limited time period. This article summarizes the new chapter, covering the very latest rights and options for those with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, RHS, or other mortgages. The chapter being open to the public, all readers can now follow links in the article to more detail in the chapter text.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A leading resource for over 25 years, this fully updated, 2021 edition of Surviving Debt provides precise, practical, and hard-hitting advice from the nation’s consumer law experts on how to deal with crushing debt affecting millions of Americans. New to the 2021 edition, consumer rights arising from the COVID-19 pandemic relating to home mortgages, landlord-tenant law, utilities, and student loans. Learn more here.
A favorable March 25, 2021, Supreme Court ruling allows consumers to bring claims in their home state against out-of-state companies, even where the companies had no contact with the consumer in the consumer’s state of residence. This article explains the Court’s holding and then suggests nine types of cases where the ruling can help advance consumer litigation.
This article examines the consumer law implications of the March 11, 2021, American Rescue Plan Act: how to protect stimulus payments from garnishment and a bankruptcy trustee; student loan forgiveness being no longer taxable; relief for utility arrearages and payments; help for homeowners and renters; and help with broadband and water bills.
A January 14, 2021, Supreme Court decision alters the practice of consumer bankruptcy law as to repossessed property. This article explains the Supreme Court’s ruling and how the consumer bankruptcy practitioner should respond to the ruling’s implications, including the use of four new sample pleadings found in NCLC’s recent digital update to our bankruptcy treatise.
Increasingly, companies seek to bind consumers to arbitration, consent to robocalls, and other terms and conditions through the consumer’s actions on a website. This article reviews an important January court decision, describes surprising facts about bots and “click farms,” and sets out a series of practical steps to challenge consumer assent to terms found on a website.