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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Consumer Arbitration Agreements (8th ed. May 2020) (444 pp.) is now available in both print and digital format on the NCLC Digital Library. In almost every area of consumer litigation today, the first question is whether the case can be forced into binding arbitration. This treatise is the definitive treatment on the subject and includes a new chapter on how to conduct a winning consumer arbitration. Learn more and read Chapter One for free here.
This article explains private enforcement of new credit reporting rights provided consumers by the CARES Act. The article details when the rights are applicable, how creditors must implement those rights, steps consumers can take to enforce those rights, and special enforcement rights for California consumers.
Updated: Sept. 23, 2020
This article provides tips and explains new protections for homeowners having difficulty making mortgage payments. Included are federal and state forbearance programs and moratoria on foreclosures. Just as important, the article explains how to apply for forbearance, how forbearance prevents foreclosure, and what mortgage repayment options are available once the forbearance period expires.
Creditors with court judgments against consumers may seek to garnish stimulus payments from consumers’ bank accounts. This article explains the threat, lists tips to determine accounts at risk, explains how Americans will receive stimulus payments, and provides advice on preventing garnishment, depending on whether payment is by direct deposit or by paper check.
Access free NCLC resources during the COVID-19 emergency, including Surviving Debt (2020, 288 pp.), a summary of each of the 50 states' exemption protections, an article listing over 100 consumer protections just implemented, and NCLC's COVID-19 website. By offering free resources and 30% discounts on new subscriptions, NCLC seeks to facilitate advocacy on behalf of consumers during this emergency. Read more about the resources here.
NCLC’s Surviving Debt is available to all for free during the COVID-19 emergency. While coronavirus (COVID-19) is primarily creating a health emergency, it is also causing financial havoc for the most vulnerable American families. The National Consumer Law Center remains focused on advocating for consumers and their financial welfare, and helping you do the same. By offering free resources and discounts on new subscriptions, the NCLC Publications team hopes to help facilitate your advocacy on behalf of consumers. Read more about the resources here.
Consumer Class Actions (10th ed. March 2020) (820 pp.) is now available, both in print and digital formats: a how-to manual for handling every aspect of a class action, with contributions from over 20 experienced class action litigators. Subscribe now for instant access, or learn more and read Chapter One for free.
March 21 Deadline for Servicers to Assign to HUD Certain Reverse Mortgages to Protect Surviving Spouses
HUD created a March 21st deadline for reverse mortgage servicers to assign the reverse mortgage to HUD without financial penalty in order to protect certain surviving non-borrower spouses from foreclosure. This article explains the meaning of the deadline and what actions non-borrowing surviving spouses should take so that they can remain in their homes. For a certain category of surviving spouses, it is important to act before March 21.
As states increasingly assess criminal defendants with fines, surcharges, costs, and fees, draconian actions to collect that debt are on the rise. This checklist sets out tools to help consumers avoid the worst of these collection actions that can lead to incarceration, loss of driver’s licenses, wage garnishment, seizure of bank accounts, or other drastic measures.
A new January Supreme Court decision affects the automatic stay a consumer receives upon filing bankruptcy. As discussed in this article, creditors now must file any appeal to a denial of stay relief within fourteen days. In other bankruptcy news, a new option for chapter 11 small business and individual filers became effective February 20.
This article sets out nine steps for reducing or eliminating hospital debt for lower-income patients. Federal law provides rights for debt owed to nonprofit hospitals and state law offers relief for debt owed to both for-profit and nonprofit hospitals. The article includes a number of practice pointers in guiding patients through the process.
Congress has just revived and extended the QPRI exclusion, an important protection for struggling homeowners. As discussed in this article, now a homeowner with a short sale or other modification of their home mortgage loan principal can avoid tax liability on debt forgiven during tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020, despite receiving a 1099 indicating the forgiven debt as income.
This article reviews all 25 published Fair Debt Collection Practices Act appellate court decisions from 2019 broken down by category. FDCPA rulings were published by the Supreme Court and the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.
This article lists federal and state consumer law changes that already are scheduled to go into effect in 2020. The article also lists several changes that were effective in December of 2019. Of course, other consumer law changes will be enacted later this year and go into effect this year; this article lists those changes whose effective dates have already been scheduled for this year.