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.
The 2022 4th Edition of Credit Discrimination is now available in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. The revision examines in depth federal and state discrimination laws that have a surprisingly powerful application in maximizing claims in consumer cases, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Fair Housing Act, several Civil Rights Acts, state discrimination statutes, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Read Chapter One for free here.
This article examines an April 21, 2022, Supreme Court decision with important application to the equitable tolling of limitations periods found in federal consumer statutes. The article explains when equitable tolling should be available, lists actions justifying equitable tolling, and considers other approaches to extending limitations periods, including the fraud discovery rule.
This article explains new federal rules under the Affordable Connectivity Program providing low-income households up to $30/month (up to $75/month on Tribal lands) toward cellular or home broadband service. Eligible households can obtain service despite a prior disconnection or even nonpayment of current service; use of credit checks to sign up for broadband service is prohibited.
The LIBOR index used to compute $1.4 trillion in adjustable-rate mortgages, HELOCs, credit cards, and private student loans will soon cease to exist, requiring creditors to replace the index and margin. This article explains the resulting creditor and servicer litigation exposure and how a March federal statute and April Reg. Z amendments affect this litigation exposure.
Debt buyers owning “zombie second mortgages”—delinquent predatory junior mortgages where loan holders have made no collection effort for as many as fifteen years—are suddenly threatening to and actually foreclosing on large numbers of such mortgages. This article explains what zombie mortgages are and why they are only now being foreclosed, and then provides twelve ways to fight their foreclosure.
$9.9 billion in a Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) may reach huge numbers of struggling homeowners too late to help them avoid foreclosures or large foreclosure costs. This article explains eligibility standards, allowed uses of HAF funding, rights, and tactics to delay foreclosures pending receipt of HAF funds, and provides model language that states can use to delay foreclosure until they distribute HAF funds.
Widespread misrepresentation about private student loans not being dischargeable in bankruptcy leads to significant consumer remedies. This article explains how to tell if a private student loan is dischargeable in bankruptcy, and sets out remedies where creditors misrepresent that a loan is non-dischargeable or continue collection after a bankruptcy discharges the loan. Other claims are listed against private student loan lenders.
This article provides advice to consumers in dealing with debt collectors, taking into consideration new consumer rights and new consumer risks flowing from federal rules that just went into effect on November 30, 2021. The article: provides nine ways to stop debt harassment, with sample letters; explains the limits of what collectors can really do; and lists illegal debt collection conduct that can lead to consumer claims.
This article explains the implications two new student loan developments. A Navient settlement discharges on average $25,000 of debt for 66,000 private student loan borrowers and provides $260 restitution to 365,000 federal Direct Loan borrowers. The Department of Education has extended its suspension of federal student loan payments until May 1, 2022, with the balance accruing at zero percent interest.
The just-released digital 10th Edition of Fair Debt Collection, is the definitive Fair Debt Collection Practices Act treatise, now completely reorganized, rewritten, and updated, with analysis of CFPB Regulation F and also the “FDCPA Case Connector” allowing instant access to 15,000 case summaries. Four other chapters examine tort, state and federal statutory, and bankruptcy claims for collection abuse. Read chapter one here.
This article reviews a very active 2021 concerning the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): significant new FDCPA regulations took effect, a Supreme Court decision significantly impacts standing in FDCPA cases, and 21 appellate court panels issued important FDCPA published decisions.
In 2022 significant new federal and state consumer law rights will be effective, and other rights are set to expire or have been extended. This article sets out, as of January 1, 2022, the effective dates for all of these changes, including changes effective from November 30, 2021 through January 1, 2023.
This article provides links to the latest COVID-related homeowner protections for different types of mortgages and homeowner financial circumstances. Links go to an extensively updated NCLC chapter, which is, for a limited time, free to the public. Also linked is a discussion of an important foreclosure defense based on servicer noncompliance with these homeowner protections.
Federal Deception Law (4th ed. 2022), now available in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library, covers essential private remedies for marketplace deception: two all-new chapters on the TCPA and robocalls; the definitive analysis of lender liability under the FTC Holder Rule; federal and state RICO; false claims acts; the surprisingly expansive Telemarketing Sales Rule; debt relief scam remedies, and much more. Learn more and read Chapter One on the NCLC Digital Library.
Repossessions (10th ed. 2022) is now available in digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. Repossessions is the definitive treatise on consumer rights concerning motor vehicle, manufactured home, and household goods repossessions and deficiency claims—including defenses, substantial statutory damages and affirmative recoveries, and class actions. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.
Nursing homes too often sue without justification not only residents, but family members or caregivers for amounts that can exceed $100,000. This article introduces defenses that residents and especially third parties can raise to these collection lawsuits. Affirmative claims that can be brought against the collection attorney and nursing home are examined, and additional resources are provided.
This article provides 12 reasons for bringing reverse redlining claims against predatory lenders, under the Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Housing, and/or Civil Rights Acts. Reverse redlining targets predatory practices at communities of color or other protected groups, whether or not better terms are offered elsewhere. Recent cases bringing reverse redlining claims are included.