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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) (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.
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.
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.
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.
A court has ordered that long-delayed Dep’t of Ed. rules become effective October 16, 2018. This article explains how the rules now: prohibit schools from requiring mandatory arbitration or class waivers of certain student claims, even for preexisting agreements; increase the availability of closed school and false certification discharges; and improve the administrative process for students to raise school-related defenses on their loans.
Billions of pieces of information that creditors, debt collectors, and other “furnishers” of information send to credit reporting agencies are in a standard format called Metro 2. This article links to updated and expanded information on creditors’ liability when they report consumer data in a non-conforming manner that leads to inaccurate consumer reports.
The definition of an autodialer is key to providing effective TCPA remedies and to stopping the onslaught of unwanted calls to Americans’ cellphones. This article examines a new groundbreaking Ninth Circuit decision and other very recent case law defining auto dialer.
Automobile Fraud (6th ed. Oct. 2018) (582 pp.) is available in print and digital formats, with the latest developments on investigating automobile fraud, title transfers, odometer fraud, undisclosed sale of wrecked and flood vehicles, lemon laundering, yo-yo sales, punitive damages, and more. Subscribers can access the digital edition now, and print subscribers receive their books in late October. The first chapter is available to all, free of charge.
As explained in this article, an August federal court decision finds that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are state actors, meaning their foreclosures must meet constitutional due process standards. This ruling thus has the potential to reshape most foreclosures in the majority of states that allow nonjudicial foreclosures.
This article helps families in financial distress decide whether to file bankruptcy: what bankruptcy can and cannot do, the best time to file for bankruptcy, when it is the wrong choice, whether to file under chapter 7 or 13, bankruptcy’s cost, and common misconceptions about bankruptcy.