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About the Authors

Deanne Loonin, co-author, is an attorney and advocate for student loan borrowers, including as an attorney at the Legal Services Center at Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending. She is the founder and former director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center. She was formerly a legal services attorney in Los Angeles specializing in consumer cases.

Abby Shafroth, co-author, is an NCLC staff attorney focusing on student loan and for-profit school issues, and on the intersection of criminal and consumer law. She has represented the interests of students and legal assistance organizations on federal and state policy committees. She is also a contributing author of NCLC’s Collection Actions. Prior to joining NCLC, Abby litigated civil rights and employment class and collective actions at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC in Washington, D.C., worked as an attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Richard A. Paez of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Persis S. Yu, co-author, is an NCLC staff attorney and is the director of NCLC’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. She works on student loans, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and on other consumer advocacy issues. She is a contributing author to NCLC’s Consumer Credit Regulation and to Fair Credit Reporting. Prior to joining NCLC, Persis was a Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellow at Empire Justice Center in Rochester, New York.

Carolyn L. Carter, contributing author, is NCLC’s deputy director and was formerly co-director of Legal Services, Inc., in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and director of the Law Reform Office of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society. Just some of her NCLC books include Repossessions, Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices, Consumer Credit Regulation, and Mortgage Lending. She is a recipient of the Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award.

Joanna K. Darcus, contributing author, is an NCLC staff attorney who works on litigation, debt collection, and student loan matters. As part of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project, she represents low-income student loan borrowers, most of whom are people of color. Prior to joining NCLC, Joanna was a supervising attorney at Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia. While there, she represented hundreds of low-income consumers sued by debt collectors or struggling with student loans. She is a contributor to NCLC’s Surviving Debt.

Jonathan Sheldon, contributing author, is an NCLC staff attorney writing on the FTC and FTC Holder Rule, deceptive practices law, student loans, and other consumer law topics since 1976. Previously he was a staff attorney with the Federal Trade Commission. His NCLC publications include Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices, Federal Deception Law, Consumer Warranty Law, Automobile Fraud, Collection Actions, and Repossessions.

Robyn Smith, contributing author, is of counsel with NCLC concentrating on student loan and for-profit school issues. She is also a senior attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Before that, she worked in the Consumer Law Section of the California Attorney General’s Office, where she investigated and prosecuted businesses engaged in deceptive business practices. She also represented low-income consumers in a wide range of consumer law matters at Public Counsel in Los Angeles and at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.

Geoff Walsh, contributing author, is an NCLC staff attorney and has been a legal services attorney for over twenty-five years. Before that, he worked with the housing and consumer units of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia and was a staff attorney with Vermont Legal Aid in its Springfield, Vermont office. His practice has focused on housing and bankruptcy issues. He is a co-author of NCLC’s Home Foreclosures and Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications, and is a contributing author to NCLC’s Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Credit Discrimination, and Access to Utility Service.