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How to Protect Wages and Benefits from Creditors

This article explains what every attorney needs to know about protecting clients from wage garnishment and seizure of public benefits, wages, and other funds in bank accounts. The article explains how to both evaluate and reduce a consumer’s exposure to these post-judgment remedies, considers the special case of federal student loans, and details important federal and state law protections in each of the 50 states.

Just Published: Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice

Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice (12th ed. 2020) (1,776 pp. in two volumes) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. The definitive consumer bankruptcy treatise is updated with the latest case law and changes to the Bankruptcy Code, initial forms, bankruptcy rules, and means test data. Subscribe now for instant access to this treatise. Learn more and read Chapter One for free.

Courts in 2019 Reshape the TCPA in 8 Ways—Mostly to the Good

As discussed in this article, a slew of 2019 court rulings are reshaping private litigation against robocallers. The federal student loan collectors’ exemption was declared unconstitutional; the Supreme Court issued smoke signals on the weight given FCC orders; the TCPA was ruled applicable to new types of robocalls; cases interpreted whether predictive dialers are covered; and Spokeo challenges generally lost.

Just Published: Student Loan Law Sixth Edition

Student Loan Law (6th ed. October 2019) (744 pp) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library, with the latest on repayment options, deferments, tax intercepts, private student loans, challenges to collection and servicing abuses, private student loans, predatory schools, and more. Learn more, read the first chapter, and subscribe here.

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.

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.

Just Published: Mortgage Lending, Third Edition

Mortgage Lending (3d ed. September 2019) (936 pp) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. The new edition covers all you need to know on mortgage origination, preemption, and litigation. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here. All subscribers have digital access now, and Print + Digital subscribers will receive their print revisions in early October.

Guide to Mortgage Relief for Natural Disaster Victims

This article sets out homeowner rights when homeowners get behind on their mortgage payments after a natural disaster. The article includes the new FHA policy and an overview of options for Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA, and RHS loans, plus steps the homeowner should take to obtain relief.

New Techniques to Search & Retrieve Consumer Law Topics and Documents

NCLC just added four new features to our powerful digital search engine. This article describes the new features and provides—for both subscribers and for the general public—a quick guide to unleashing all the advantages of NCLC’s search engine to find consumer law topics, sample pleadings, and primary source material.

Just Published: Truth in Lending, Tenth Edition

Truth in Lending (10th ed. September 2019) (2,010 pp., 2 volumes) is now available, both in print and in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. The definitive Truth in Lending resource provides crucial updates from the nation's TILA experts. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here. Print + Digital Subscribers will receive their print copies later this month and all subscribers have digital access now.

Student Loan Servicers Now Subject to Borrowers’ State Law Claims

Recent circuit and district court decisions find federal preemption inapplicable to many state law deception claims against student loan servicers. The article lists common servicer abuses, explains how the new cases reject the Department of Education’s preemption claims, and analyzes which state law claims will be most effective in seeking remedies from student loan servicers.

Three June State Law Actions Helping Consumers Fight Arbitration Requirements

This article examines three June actions showing how state law can help consumers respond to arbitration clauses: a Ninth Circuit ruling that public injunctive relief provided by a state statute must be available either in court or in arbitration, a state supreme court’s limit as to when non-parties can enforce arbitration agreements, and a Vermont statute helping consumers challenge unconscionable arbitration clauses.

New Ways to Maximize Attorney Fees Where Claim Pursuant to FTC Holder Notice

This article examines new and old ways to maximize attorney fee recoveries where the consumer has used the FTC Holder Notice to sue a creditor based on seller-related claims. The article also debunks five myths that are often used to try to limit consumer recoveries under the FTC Holder Notice.

Getting Into Court by Initiating Arbitration

A May 2019 Eleventh Circuit decision provides an important illustration of how a consumer can end up in court (even in a class action) when the business does not comply with the arbitration provider’s rules. This article sets out practice tips on how a company’s failure to pay arbitration fees or meet other requirements can make the company’s arbitration agreement unenforceable.

Data Gatherers Evading the FCRA May Find Themselves Still in Hot Water

2019 decisions from three circuit courts exempt data gatherers from the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This article explains that these firms should be careful what they wish for, as FCRA preemption no longer applies and they become subject to potentially powerful state laws.

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.

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.