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Class Arbitration After Supreme Court’s April 24 Lamps Plus Decision

The Supreme Court has just made it harder, but not impossible, for consumers to proceed in arbitration on a class basis. An ambiguous provision is insufficient to authorize class arbitration, but this article explains how language commonly found in arbitration agreements might still be found to authorize class arbitration.

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.

Viable FDCPA Claims Arising from Foreclosures After March 20 Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court’s March 20 Obduskey decision limits FDCPA liability for conduct in non-judicial foreclosures. This article summarizes the Obduskey holding and then discusses which FDCPA claims arising from foreclosures are viable post-Obduskey.

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.

New CFPB Rule Provides Enforceable Protections for Prepaid Cards

Effective April 1, the CFPB Prepaid Accounts Rule adds protections for prepaid cards, payroll cards, and person-to-person payment services, as set out in this article. The rule improves fee transparency, protects cards from unauthorized charges and errors, and addresses abusive overdraft fees. Consumers can obtain actual and statutory damages and attorney fees for violations.

Eleventh Circuit Issues Must-Read FCRA Decision

As discussed in this article, a March 25 Eleventh Circuit ruling is a strong pro-consumer decision on five different fronts. A furnisher’s “data conformity review” is an FCRA violation as a matter of law. The holding also addresses the FCRA “willfulness” standard, and punitive and emotional distress damages under the FCRA. The ruling is even relevant to the bona fide error defense under the FDCPA.

Key Post-Henson Decision Holds Debt Buyer Is a "Principal Purpose" Debt Collector

The Supreme Court in 2017 ruled debt buyers do not fall under the FDCPA’s second definition of a debt collector—one who regularly collects debts owed to another. As discussed here, the Third Circuit in Barbato has just found a debt buyer covered under the FDCPA’s principal purpose definition, concluding that FDCPA coverage does not require a debt buyer to engage in overt collections.

Consumer Law Changes Taking Effect in 2019

This article lists federal and state consumer law changes scheduled to become effective in 2019. That is, the listing includes consumer law changes enacted in 2018 or earlier, but scheduled to go into effect in 2019.

The Latest Practice Tips for TCPA Litigation Involving Robocalls and Junk Faxes

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation is one of today’s hottest areas and this article provides new practice tips in bringing suits involving robocalls and junk faxes, based on the very latest case rulings and expert advice.

New Supreme Ct. Opinion Supports Challenges to Excessive State & Local Government Fines

The Supreme Court has just imposed the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause on the states, recognizing that the clause is a shield against government’s using high fines for revenue-generating purposes. This article explains that the opinion will surely be used to challenge the rising fines imposed by state and local governments and their impact on low-income defendants.

Tax Filers Face New Problems This Year

This article provides tips on advising lower income consumers on the many changes this tax season—including increased refund delays, increased problems with RACs, RALs, and paid tax preparers, growing use of private collection of IRS debt, and new requirements to renew ITINs. Also included are pointers on dealing with unaffordable taxes.

Two Essential New Treatises for Representing Homeowners Now Available

NCLC has just released two all-new and important treatises in print and on the NCLC Digital Library: Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications and Home Foreclosures. This article describes their content, how to read Chapter 1 for free, and the treatises’ inclusion in certain existing NCLC subscriptions at no charge.

HUD Housing Programs:Tenants’ Rights Now Available on the NCLC Digital Library

NCLC is proud to announce that the National Housing Law Project’s signature publication is now hosted on the NCLC Digital Library. HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights (The Green Book) is the quintessential guide to understanding HUD’s housing programs. It is now available as a digital treatise at The NCLC Digital Library.

Birdseye View of All 2018 FDCPA Reported Appellate Decisions

This article summarizes all 34 FDCPA reported appellate decisions issued in 2018, reports on a pending Supreme Court FDCPA case, and describes NCLC’s digital tool to locate relevant FDCPA case summaries from summaries of over 14,000 FDCPA decisions.

12 Ways to Recover Even When Lemon Used Cars Are Sold “As Is”

Too often consumers and even their attorneys believe an “as is” sale immunizes the dealer from the sale of a lemon used car. This article lays out twelve ways that consumers can still recover significant damages for vehicle defects and dealer misrepresentations.

As of December 1, New Rules Alter Class Action Notices, Settlements, and Objections

This article examines Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 changes that, effective December 1, establish new standards for electronic class action notices, require more information before approval of a class notice, clarify standards for court approval of a class settlement, and seek to reduce abuses by those improperly objecting to class settlements.

Surviving Debt (2019) Now Available in Print + Digital Formats

Surviving Debt (2019) (278 pp.) is a new edition of NCLC’s most popular book, which provides accessible, practical, and hard-hitting advice for consumers and for those helping consumers. It covers credit card, medical, and student loan debts, debt harassment, credit reporting, mortgage modifications, car repossessions, evictions, utilities, bankruptcy, and much more. Read the first chapter for free, browse the table of contents, and learn more here.

What Practitioners Need to Know About New Bankruptcy Rules, Effective December 1

On December 1, extensive amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules go into effect. As analyzed in this article, of special note are rules dealing with mortgage loan payments in chapter 13 cases, electronic filing of bankruptcy forms, and with appeals from bankruptcy court to the federal district court.

7 Ways to Recover Attorney Fees When Debtors Prevail in a Collection Lawsuit

A recent appellate court ruling highlights the availability of attorney fees for the consumer when a creditor or debt buyer fails to prevail in a credit card or other collection action. This article sets out seven ways in which consumers can recover such attorney fees if the creditor fails in its collection lawsuit.

Ninth Circuit Limits National Banks’ Free Pass to Flout State Law

An important recent Ninth Circuit ruling rejects a federal regulation as to when a national bank can ignore state law. This article explains how the decision underscores that federal regulators and some courts have been overly expansive in protecting banks from liability for violating state consumer protection laws.