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Cheat Sheet to COVID-19 Bankruptcy Provisions and Sunsets

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.

Supreme Court Issues Expansive Ruling on Personal Jurisdiction

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.

Consumer Law Implications of the American Recovery Plan Act

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.

Practice Tools in Response to Latest Supreme Court Bankruptcy Decision

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.

Free Access to New Chapter on Homeowner Rights During COVID Pandemic

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.

Challenging Electronic Assent to Arbitration, Robocalls, and More

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.

Limits on Collection of Time-Barred Debt and the New FDCPA Rules

New rules interpreting the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that go into effect November 30, 2021, are a good reason to review existing law as to suits and collection contacts concerning time-barred debt. This article discusses those aspects of the new rules related to time-barred debt and also provides an overview of existing law in the area.

New Consumer Bankruptcy Protections Now Effective

This article explains the new consumer bankruptcy protections found in the Consolidated Appropriations Act that were effective December 27, 2020: the availability of a chapter 13 discharge despite missed payments, protection of stimulus payments from the bankruptcy trustee, no discrimination of debtors in bankruptcy from CARES Act protections, continued utility service without a deposit, and more.

Consumer Warranty Law, Sixth Edition, Now Available in Print + Digital Formats

Consumer Warranty Law (6th ed. January 2021) (1,012 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. It is the definitive consumer litigation treatise concerning defective new and used cars (including leased vehicles), manufactured homes, new homes, home improvements, automobile repairs, service contracts, assistive devices, and more. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

Consumer Law Rights Taking Effect or Extended into 2021

In 2021 many significant consumer law changes will be effective and a number of programs that were to expire have been extended. This article sets out those changes and extensions that are scheduled as of January 1, 2021, including changes effective from December 1, 2020 through January 1, 2022.

Last Updated: Feb. 26, 2021.

Getting Money Back for Scammed Consumers

This article explains scammed consumers’ best approaches to retrieve their money, depending on the method used for its payment. The article covers unusual payment methods preferred by scammers, such as gift cards, wires, prepaid cards, remotely created payment orders, express mail of cash and money orders, and not just credit or debit cards.

December 1 Changes to Bankruptcy Rules, Forms, and Fees

This article reviews four amendments to the bankruptcy rules, a number of changes to the bankruptcy forms, and filing fee and other fee increases that all take effect on December 1, 2020. One of the rule changes has the potential for cost savings for debtors and their attorneys in chapter 13 cases. Also of note, filing fees for chapter 7 and 13 cases are increasing modestly.

Consumer Credit Regulation, Third Edition, Now Available in Print + Digital Formats

Consumer Credit Regulation (3d ed. November 2020) (1040 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. This treatise covers credit cards, payday loans, auto finance, and other non-mortgage credit. Subscribe now for instant access to this treatise. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

Collection Actions, Fifth Edition, Now Available in Print + Digital Formats

Collection Actions (5th ed. Oct. 2020) (778 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. This is the definitive manual on defending lawsuits to collect credit card and other consumer debt, including special tactics for medical, government, and criminal justice debt. Subscribe now for instant access to this treatise. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.

New Rights for Homeowners Exiting COVID-19 Forbearances

A new CFPB interim final rule provides an exception for mortgage servicer compliance with loss mitigation evaluations for borrowers exiting a COVID-19 forbearance, but only if the borrowers are given important rights. This article explains that forborne payments are deferred, interest free, until the end of the loan term, no fees can be charged, any delinquency is canceled, and the borrower can still apply for alternative loss mitigation.

Credit Discrimination Statutes Offer Underutilized Consumer Remedies

A September 3, 2020, HUD action to limit Fair Housing Act disparate impact claims underscores the underutilized power of credit discrimination statutes to remedy marketplace misconduct affecting communities of color and other vulnerable consumers. This article describes the power, broad scope, and varied applications of federal and state credit discrimination statutes, and also sets out the implications for consumer lawyers of the HUD rule change.

New July Student Loan Rule Amendments: What Changes and What Does Not

New U.S. Department of Education rules, effective July 1, 2020, create complexity as to applicable requirements concerning the borrower defense discharge, the closed school discharge, and school use of mandatory arbitration clauses. This article explains varying rules for loans issued prior to July 1, 2017, from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020, and after July 1, 2020.

Impact of Supreme Court Seila Law Ruling on CFPB Constitutionality

The Supreme Court’s June 29th decision in Seila Law allows the President to remove at will the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director, but it saves the rest of the Bureau’s authority. This article explains some of the decision’s implications for the CFPB, the FHFA, and other independent agencies. Of special note is the CFPB’s July 7th ratification of almost all of its existing rules and other past actions and its July 7th repeal of most parts of the payday loan rule.

Supreme Court Rules on Robocallers

A July 6, 2020 Supreme Court decision in Barr applies the same Telephone Consumer Protection Act restrictions on robocalls to collect government debt as apply to other robocalls. Otherwise the exemption for government debt would unconstitutionally favor one form of speech content over another. This article examines the ruling’s implications for litigation involving robocalls to collect government debt, other robocall litigation, and even First Amendment litigation regarding other consumer statutes.

Free Access to NCLC’s Criminal Justice Debt Chapter, Litigation Guide

During the national conversation around policing practices, the public has free access to two just-released NCLC resources on defending consumers against draconian enforcement of criminal justice debt, bail bond abuses, and price gouging by private companies offering services to those incarcerated. This article highlights their content with links to specific topics in Commercialized (In)justice Litigation Guide and, for a limited time, in Collection Actions Chapter 11.