National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
- Homepage: http://www.consumerlaw.org/
January 2003: http://www.consumerlaw.org/about/
January 2012: 'The penalty “is certainly a slap on the wrist and probably a little bit more, but it really depends on what the F.T.C. does to enforce this in the coming months and years,” said Robert Hobbs, deputy director at the National Consumer Law Center and author of “Fair Debt Collection” (National Consumer Law Center, 1987). But “it is a great step forward. It is not self-enforcing, and it has a mechanism for the F.T.C. to follow up.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/business/ftc-fines-a-collector-of-debt-2-5-million.html
May 2011: 'A report out this week from the National Consumer Law Center lays out a host of ways in which banks nibble away at jobless benefits with fees the center called “junk.” The prepaid cards are most often used by jobless recipients who don’t have checking accounts, and so are ineligible for direct deposit. Practices vary from state to state because jobless benefits are distributed at the state level, and state governments negotiate the terms of agreements with card providers. In many states, charges apply for using A.T.M.’s, even if they’re in network; checking balances; and even for not using the card enough (inactivity fees, as high as $3).'http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/prepaid-cards-subject-jobless-to-host-of-fees
June 2010: '“What they don’t tell their customers is when you stop sending the money, creditors get angry,” said Andrew G. Pizor, a staff lawyer at the National Consumer Law Center. “Collection agents call. Sometimes they sue. People think they’re settling their problems and getting some relief, and lo and behold they get slammed with a lawsuit.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/business/economy/19debt.html
January 2008: 'Before you do contact the attorney general, you might first want to look at the National Consumer Law Center's report, "Dreams Foreclosed: The Rampant Theft of Americans' Homes Through Equity-Stripping Foreclosure 'Rescue' Scams." It touches on common tactics that con artists use, provides pointers on how consumers can protect themselves and explains how to file a complaint.'http://www.bankrate.com/yho/news/realestateadviser/20080106_foreclosure_scams_a1.asp
May 2007: And yet research in 11 class-action lawsuits against major auto finance companies and banks found that blacks and Hispanics were consistently charged higher interest rates on their loans, even when there was little difference in such factors as amount financed, term of loan and, most important, creditworthiness, said Stuart Rossman, director of litigation for the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), which was a co-counsel in all the lawsuits.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/09/AR2007050902277.html
May 2006: But Public Citizen and the National Consumer Law Center are complaining to the media and to Congress that some check-diversion companies -- most notably, California-based American Corrective Counseling Services Inc. (ACCS) -- are engaging in abusive and deceptive collection practices. The groups claim that consumers such as Artz and Pickett are not given a fair chance to make good on their bounced checks before they get threatening letters and are assessed excessively high fees.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/06/AR2006050600185.html
December 2004: Loans given in advance of tax returns cost low-income taxpayers about $1.7 billion in loan fees and other charges, according to a report early this year from the National Consumer Law Center and the Consumer Federation of America. The groups said about 1 in 10 American taxpayers took out such loans in 2002, more than half of them low-wage workers. That came to 12.7 million refund loans in 2002.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23721-2004Dec23.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Organization Executive (past or present) Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Robert J. Hobbs Esq. Person Jul 7, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) John Rao Esq. Person May 22, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Elizabeth Renuart Person Jun 4, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Stuart Rossman Esq. Person Aug 5, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Steve Tripoli Person May 4, 2005
Articles and Resources
28 Articles and Resources. Go to: [Next 8]
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jan 30, 2012 F.T.C. Fines a Collector of Debt $2.5 Million
QUOTE: The Federal Trade Commission signaled on Monday that it would continue to crack down on debt collectors who harass consumers for money they may not even be legally obligated to pay...Asset Acceptance, one of the nation’s largest debt collection companies, had agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that the company deceived consumers when trying to collect old debts.
New York Times May 11, 2011 Prepaid Cards Subject Jobless to Host of Fees
QUOTE: A report out this week from the National Consumer Law Center lays out a host of ways in which banks nibble away at jobless benefits with fees the center called “junk.”
New York Times Mar 10, 2011 Bank Customers Win One (Soon)
QUOTE: In practice, however, banks that receive garnishment orders routinely freeze a customer’s account up to the amount of the debt, even if the account contains protected funds. Unfreezing an account often requires a lawyer and invariably involves delays, which can be devastating for low-income beneficiaries.
New York Times Jun 18, 2010 Peddling Relief, Industry Puts Debtors in a Deeper Hole
QUOTE: Consumers rarely emerge from debt settlement programs with their credit card balances eliminated, these critics say, and many wind up worse off, with severely damaged credit, ceaseless threats from collection agents and lawsuits from creditors.
New York Times Sep 27, 2009 As Subprime Lending Crisis Unfolded, Watchdog Fed Didn't Bother Barking (Banking on the Fed)
QUOTE: Under a policy quietly formalized in 1998, the Fed refused to police lenders' compliance with federal laws protecting borrowers, despite repeated urging by consumer advocates across the country and even by other government agencies.
Washington Post Jul 27, 2009 Credit card firms raise fees before law changes
QUOTE: Chase [JPMorgan Chase & Co] is but one of a number of major credit card companies that are jacking up interest rates and fees, or laying the groundwork to do so, before new federal legislation that cracks down on some of the practices goes into effect in February.
Boston Globe Jan 06, 2008 Recourse in a foreclosure scam
QUOTE: ...companies calling themselves "foreclosure consultants" have built a cottage industry around promising distressed homeowners that they will temporarily assume control of the house to prevent foreclosure and that they will sell it back to the owner at a premium when that person's financial problems are resolved. However, the homeowner soon discovers that buying it back will be next to impossible because of onerous provisions buried in the dictionary-sized contracts they've signed -- contracts that often cleverly disguise these companies' predatory intents.
Bankrate.com Jul 03, 2007 Predators Bilk Struggling Homeowners
QUOTE: With the housing market in decline, financial predators are finding yet another way to take advantage of people who fall behind on their payments...someone else takes over the deed, borrows as much as possible against the value of the house and pockets the cash. And, almost always, the homeowners still end up losing their homes.
New York Times May 10, 2007 Minorities, the Auto Loan Losers
QUOTE: An analysis of the most recent Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances data, completed on behalf of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), found that in 2004, African American car buyers paid much higher loan rates on new and used autos than white Americans.
Washington Post Apr 05, 2007 As US foreclosures mount, states step in: New laws aim to prevent fraud, and states are creating task forces and designating funds to deal with the issue.
QUOTE: Soaring foreclosure rates are sending states scrambling...Their goal: to protect homeowners from a new crop of scam artists who claim they will "rescue" borrowers. At the same time, some states are forming funds that could provide affordable fixed-rate mortgages to those on the precipice of losing their homes.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 05, 2006 An Outcry Rises as Debt Collectors Play Rough
QUOTE: The rise in American consumer debt has been accompanied by a sharp increase in complaints about aggressive and sometimes unscrupulous tactics by debt collection agencies.
New York Times May 07, 2006 Check Bounced? Be Scared
QUOTE: But Public Citizen and the National Consumer Law Center are complaining to the media and to Congress that some check-diversion companies -- most notably, California-based American Corrective Counseling Services Inc. (ACCS) -- are engaging in abusive and deceptive collection practices.
Washington Post Apr 19, 2006 Debt Collectors Seek To Auto-Dial Cellphones
QUOTE: Debt collectors are asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to use automated dialers to call a debtor's cellphone about overdue bills... But a change in FCC rules in 2003 barred collectors from using such technology to call cellphones.
Washington Post Mar 21, 2006 IRS plans to allow preparers to sell data: Critics said the proposed regulation could lead to a loss of privacy for clients.
QUOTE: The IRS is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns. If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will be able to sell information from individual returns - or even entire returns - to marketers and data brokers.
Philadelphia Inquirer Mar 13, 2006 Bankrupt? Pay your full car-loan debt anyway
QUOTE: The law used to allow some people who filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to escape a portion of their auto loan debt, keep their vehicles and pay a lower monthly payment...Now... Filers who want to keep driving their vehicles must pay the total amount owed if they purchased their vehicles within the 30 months prior to filing, regardless of the vehicles' actual values.
Bankrate.com Nov 18, 2005 Beware of credit-repair scams
QUOTE: ...if the debts really are yours, the creditor can keep them on your report, usually for seven years. And no third party has the magic to make that go away. On the other hand, some for-profit credit repair firms offer a viable option by disputing items you believe to be inaccurate and pursuing the necessary paperwork and follow-up you may not be able or willing to do.
Bankrate.com Oct 14, 2005 Bankruptcy Law Is Criticized for Creditors' Role in Counseling
QUOTE: A requirement of the new bankruptcy law that sends Americans into credit counseling before they can erase their debts is drawing criticism from consumer advocates, bankruptcy lawyers and financial educators, who are concerned that the creditors are subsidizing the counseling.
New York Times Sep 01, 2005 Stealing Home (Scam Alert)
QUOTE: One in 25 U.S. homeowners faces foreclosure each year. Tens of thousands are duped by predatory "rescue" lenders who promise 11th-hour help but instead trick their way into taking ownership of the properties.
AARP Jul 31, 2005 Your Honor, Here's My Small-Claims Case Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Jul 28, 2005 Foreclosure Scams
QUOTE: ...foreclosure "rescue" scams fall into three main categories: * Phantom help: The "rescuer" charges outrageous fees for light-duty phone calls or paperwork....bait-and-switch: In this scam, the homeowners think they are signing documents to bring the mortgage current, but instead actually surrender their ownership...Rescuers" often place ownership of the property into a trust...
28 Articles and Resources. Go to: [Next 8]
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