Consumer Law Task Force

Sustainable Rural Development Funding: Lessons from the Field

Date: 
Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/951985089
 
The funding environment for rural development is changing dramatically and Don will share the Center’s experience with robust and sustainable funding strategies.  He will weave three stories from the field that illustrate a new framework for visioning, designing and executing capitalization game plans in support of regional rural development.  Don will then summarize the key building blocks of robust and sustainable funding in the Post-Great Recession environment.  There will be time allocated during the webinar for discussion and questions.

Presenter – Don Macke – RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

This Webinar is provided by the National Consumer Law Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time
For more information email Jessica Hiemenz at Jhiemenz@nclc.org
 

Title:
 Sustainable Rural Development Funding: Lessons from the Field
 
Date:
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012
 
Time:
 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
 

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
 
 

Sponsor: 
National Consumer Law Center

What could that FREE lunch cost you? -- How to Avoid Being Drawn Into Financial Elder Abuse Scams

Date: 
Wed, 06/27/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Seniors fear outliving their assets and are constantly drawn to individuals whom they believe can help them.  Often times these individuals are scam artists peddling worthless services or unsuitable financial products.  Assisted living facilities staff members who allow these individuals to make financial presentations in their buildings risk being accused of "assisting" in elder financial abuse.  Current civil and criminal laws on financial abuse continue to evolve and assisted living facilities need to protect themselves from needless exposure to criminal elder financial abuse, civil liability and negative publicity.

 This webinar will address the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefit scams, unsuitable annuities and other financial schemes that target seniors living in assisted living facilities.

 Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Time: 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Eastern /11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pacific

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/793384615


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

 This free webinar is sponsored by the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance, www.assistedlivingconsumers.org

Sponsor: 
Assisted Living Consumer Alliance

Update on the National Mortgage Settlement for Legal Advocates

Date: 
Tue, 06/19/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/914622785

 

The settlement between forty nine states and the federal government with five of the largest mortgage servicers, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Ally, provides direct financial relief to borrowers and former homeowners, cash payments to the states and the federal government, and imposes new standards on the servicing loans in foreclosure.  This webinar will provide an overview and update advocates on the essential terms of the settlement.  

Presenters are Chris Barry-Smith (MA AGO), Amber Villa (MA AGO), Phil Lehman (NC AGO) and moderated by Odette Williamson (NCLC).

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.

If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org

 

 

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Sponsor: 
National Legal Resource Center/National Consumer Law Center

MVLS 2012 Celebrate Pro Bono Reception

Date: 
Thu, 10/18/2012 - 6:00pm

Save the Date!

MVLS will honor our volunteers, donors, and student fellows from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law MPILP program on Thursday, October 18th at Westminster Hall in Baltimore. 

 

Location
Location Name: 
UMD Carey School of Law Westminster Hall
Address1: 
519 W. Fayette Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Stephanie Austin
Phone: 
443-451-4065
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Alternatives To Bankruptcy -- Advising Seniors When Bankruptcy Is Not An Option

Date: 
Wed, 05/30/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

This is the last free Webinar in the National Legal Resource Center's series - a new series will start in June.  Don't miss out - reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/582022456

 

According to an AARP study, between 1991 and 2007, bankruptcy filings by senior citizens went up by 150%. Many potential clients seek bankruptcy at the wrong time – when their economic situation is at the worst and they have no money.  Some clients are completely collection-proof and therefore have no need to file bankruptcy, and others should not or cannot file bankruptcy for other reasons.   Rather than simply rejecting cases as inappropriate or outside priorities, this webinar will provide guidance on how to advise clients why bankruptcy is inappropriate in certain situations, and suggest alternative strategies for dealing with their crushing debt burden.

The presenter is Michelle Weinberg, Supervisory Attorney of the Chicago Seniors/Consumer Practice Group of LAF - Legal Assistance Foundation.

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.

If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org

 

Title:

Alternatives To Bankruptcy -- Advising Seniors When Bankruptcy Is Not An Option

Date:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time:

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

 

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Sponsor: 
National Consumer Law Center

Motion for Determination

Has anyone ever filed a Motion for Determination on a client's incapacity or disability, in order to avoid the credit counseling requirement in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Please contact me at klang@mdlab.org if you have experience with this. Thanks!

Civil Gideon: Legal Dimensions of the Civil Right to Counsel Debate

Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2012 - 6:30pm

The ACS Maryland Lawyer Chapter, the ACS University of Maryland School of Law Student Chapter, and the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys present: 

Civil Gideon: Legal Dimensions of the Civil Right to Counsel Debate  

  • Debra Gardner, Legal Director, Public Justice Center; Member, Board of Advisors, ACS Maryland Lawyer Chapter
  • Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr., Executive Director, Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland
  • Michael Millemann, Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law, Director, Leadership, Ethics & Democracy Initiative, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

One of the most fundamental rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution is the right to receive legal representation free of charge during a criminal proceeding. Indigent civil litigants, however, have no similar right even if they are facing a potential loss of housing, loss of child custody, or loss of their sole source of income – consequences that, for many, may be more dire than a prison sentence. Advocates for "Civil Gideon" rights from around the country have sought to persuade courts to recognize this right under the federal constitution, state constitutions, as well as federal and state statutory law.  The panelists will discuss the legal arguments surrounding the “Civil Gideon” debate as it has played out nationwide and at home in Maryland.

To RSVP, please visit:

http://www.acslaw.org/CivilGideonRSVP

Location
Location Name: 
The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Address1: 
500 West Baltimore Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Contact
Phone: 
http://www.acslaw.org/CivilGideonRSVP
Sponsor: 
ACS Maryland Lawyer Chapter, the ACS University of Maryland School of Law Student Chapter, and the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys
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CivilGideon Flyer.docx44.83 KB

Federal Regulators Scrutinize Banks' "Advance Direct Deposit" Loans

Why you really do not want pay day loans: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/04/30/federal-regulators-scrutinize-banks-advance-direct-deposit-loans/

This is an exerpt from the article, click on the link above to read the entire article.  The exerpt is about how the loans work:

Say you need $100 to pay your rent or cover some other expense, but don't have the money in the bank. You've been receiving $500 monthly via electronic deposit. The bank agrees to a loan on the assumption that it will be able to automatically draw the full amount plus a fee from your next $500 deposit. There's no check of the borrower's credit history. The loans are popular partly because consumers can gain access to money quickly. The fee usually ranges from $7.50 to $10 per $100 borrowed. Guaranty Bank charges a flat $30 each time a customer applies for the loan. Repayment is required within 35 days. (See chart.)

Consumer groups say that people who use these loans are usually the most needy but least able to repay them on time. The bank repays itself regardless of whether borrowers have sufficient deposits in their bank accounts. This can create an overdraft in the account.

FTC Opinion Letter Affirms Consumers' Rights under the Holder Rule

Be sure to go to the website to see additional resources: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/05/holderrule.shtm

The Federal Trade Commission has issued an advisory opinion affirming consumers' rights under the FTC's Holder in Due Course Rule, which protects the rights of consumers who make a purchase using credit obtained through the merchant.

The Rule, formally known as the "Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses," protects consumers when merchants sell a consumer's credit contracts to other lenders. Specifically, it preserves consumers' right to assert the same legal claims and defenses against anyone who purchases the credit contract, as they would have against the seller who originally provided the credit.

Under the Rule, consumers can cite misconduct by a seller in order to defend themselves against a creditor's lawsuit for money owed under a contract, or to seek a refund of money they have paid under the contract. The opinion letter affirms that the language of the Rule is unambiguous and the Rule places no limits on a consumer's right to an affirmative recovery of payments already made.

The advisory opinion was requested by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), joined by Public Citizen, the Center for Responsible Lending, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, and the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, U.S. PIRG. The NCLC asked the FTC to affirm that the Rule does not limit a consumer's rights to recover money he or she has already paid under a contract to circumstances where the consumer can legally rescind the transaction, or where the goods or services sold to the consumer are worthless. The NCLC requested the advisory opinion because some courts have imposed limitations on a consumer's ability to obtain an affirmative recovery.

The Commission vote approving the advisory opinion was 5-0. The staff contact is Heather Allen, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2038.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180

(Holder Rule advisory opinion)
(FTC File No. P124802)

NCLC's 2012 Summer Mortgage Conference

Date: 
Tue, 07/17/2012 (All day) - Wed, 07/18/2012 (All day)

NCLC's 2012 Summer Mortgage Conference

Date: July 17-18, 2012

Location: L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington, D.C,

Please save the date for this two-day intensive training and conference program!

You will learn about the latest developments affecting your mortgage and foreclosure practice cases. Expert litigators from across the country will share their insights from private practices, legal aid offices, and government agencies.

Topics will include:

  • an overview of the Attorneys General settlement
  • the new FHFA servicing guidelines
  • HAMP program and litigation updates
  • loan documentation and MERS
  • bankruptcy developments
  • finding gold in PSA agreements
  • new CFPB mortgage rules
  • dealing with tax consequences of loan mods
  • successful litigation strategies
  • saving manufactured homes from foreclosure
  • and updates on federal statutes affecting mortgages and loan servicing

Registration and hotel information will be posted soon on the NCLC website.

 

If you are a Legal Aid advocate who is interested in attending please complete a Level 2 training request and submit to Yoanna Moisides at ymoisides@mdlab.org. Legal Aid is waiting for additional information on the pricing.


Location
Location Name: 
L'Enfant Plaza Hotel
City: 
Washington, DC
Contact
Name: 
National Consumer Law Center

Svrcek v. Rosenberg, No. 988, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0329-00: Foreclosure case

Real Property, Foreclosure: Circuit court properly denied homeowner’s motion to vacate foreclosure sale of homeowner’s property and dismiss foreclosure proceedings stemming from homeowner’s default on promissory note held by substitute trustees, where homeowner had actual notice of foreclosure proceedings and substitute trustees satisfied burden of proving that they possessed promissory note currently and lawfully. Svrcek v. Rosenberg, No. 988, Sept. Term, 2010. RecordFax No. 12-0329-00, 35 pages. Page

21st Annual Law Day for Seniors

Date: 
Sat, 04/21/2012 - 8:00am - 2:00pm

The Bar Association of Baltimore City’s Legal Services to the Elderly Program is holding its 21st Annual Law Day for Seniors on Saturday, April 21, at the Edward F. Borgerding District Court Building, 5800 Wabash Avenue in Baltimore, from 8 a.m to 2 p.m.

The goal of Law Day 2012 is to educate seniors, their families, and caregivers about available community resources and legal issues affecting them. Maryland Legal Aid attorneys will attend, distribute information and answer questions. About 200 to 300 people attend each year. Parking is free.

Location
Location Name: 
Edward F. Borgerding District Court Building
Address1: 
5800 Wabash Avenue
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Sponsor: 
The Bar Association of Baltimore City’s Legal Services to the Elderly Program

Minutes from February 21, 2012 meeting

The minutes from the February 21, 2012 Task Force meeting are attached.

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CONSUMER LAW TASK FORCE MEETING NOTES 2-21-12 hlgrev.doc37.5 KB

Consumer legislation

See the attached for the status of bills we discussed at our last meeting, and a few other bills.

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Consumer Legislation 3-29-12.doc39.5 KB

Home Energy Security for Elders: Consumer Protections for a Changing Energy and Utility Environment

Date: 
Wed, 03/21/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/648995288

 

This webinar will address the rapidly-changing home energy and utility environment as it relates to aging in place and the need to maintain elder home energy security.  The presentation will include a review of new metering and billing technologies, current and projected home energy prices, and the outlook for funding of federal and state energy assistance and weatherization programs.  In addition, the webinar will include information about existing programs and policies designed to keep elders from losing access to essential home energy services, and provide recommendations for enhancing utility consumer protections and programs.

1)    The Changing Environment

a)     Technologies

b)     Long-term fuel prices

c)     Pressures on federal- and state-level program funding

 

2)     Threats to elder home energy security and aging in place

a)     Higher prices, affordability

b)     Time-sensitive rate structures, penalties on those unable to safely shift consumption to off-peak periods

c)     More frequent utility service disconnections and deliverable fuel emergencies

d)     Reduced benefits from public- and ratepayer-funded energy assistance and efficiency programs

e)     Restricted access to effective customer service

f)      Prepaid Utility Service

 

3)     Enhanced regulatory consumer protections programs needed to address impacts of the changing environment

a)     Disconnection protections

b)     Deliverable fuel public benefit funds

c)     Disconnection notification standards and protocols

d)     Deferred payment agreement standards

e)     Outreach/identification of vulnerable energy/utility customers

f)      Customer service standards

g)     Standards for reporting of utility disconnections, reconnections, and arrearages

 

Presenter is John Howat, Energy Analyst/Staff Advocate of the National Consumer Law Center.

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.

If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org

 

Title:

Home Energy Security for Elders: Consumer Protections for a Changing Energy and Utility Environment

Date:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Time:

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

 

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Sponsor: 
National Consumer Law Center

Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) “Consumer Guide to ADR Services”

The Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) fairly recently put out a consumer guidebook with an intro by Chief Judge Bell.  It has tons of information on mediation services in Maryland.  The hardcopy is too long to copy and attach, but you can link to the resource guide by clicking on “Consumer Guide to ADR Services” on the left side of MACRO’s website: http://www.marylandmacro.org/.

Cheers,
Lisa Marie Sarro

CFPB/Office for Older Americans - Teleconference

Date: 
Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:30am - 1:00pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Office for the Financial Protection of Older Americans invites you to join us for a teleconference on March 16, 2012 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM PST.

 Hubert H. ("Skip") Humphrey, Assistant Director of the Office for Older Americans, Jenefer Duane, Older Americans Senior Program Analyst, and Naomi Karp, Policy Analyst will provide an overview of the responsibilities included under the statute for the Office for Older Americans and an update on the progress towards these goals. Edwin Chow, CFPB Regional Director, will provide an overview of the CFPB's Supervision and Examination activities.

 We will have ample time for questions and suggestions on how the Office for Older Americans can "Lead, Serve and Innovate" in collaboration with community stakeholders.

 Participant access information:

 URL:  https://www.mymeetings.com/emeet/rsvp/index.jsp?customHeader=mymeetings&Conference_ID=7129273&passcode=5594169

 Conference number: 7129273

 Passcode: 5594169

 

Attornies General Foreclosure Settlement Summary

Fact Sheet: Mortgage Servicing Settlement

Financial Relief for Homeowners:

The servicers will be required to dedicate $20 billion to various forms of relief to borrowers.

Principal reduction.

 

At least $10 billion will be dedicated to reducing principal for borrowers who, as of the date of the settlement, owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth and are either delinquent or at imminent risk of default.

Refinancing.

 

At least $3 billion will be dedicated to a refinancing program for borrowers who are current on their mortgages but who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. All borrowers who meet basic eligibility criteria will be eligible for the refinancing, which will reduce interest rates for borrowers who are currently paying much higher rates or whose adjustable rate mortgages are due to soon rise to much higher rates.

Other forms of relief.

To encourage servicers to provide relief quickly, there are incentives for relief provided within the first 12 months – and additional cash payments required for any servicer that fails to meet its obligation within three years.

Servicers will receive only partial credit for every dollar spent on some of the required activities, so the settlement will provide direct benefits to borrowers in excess of $20 billion.

Servicers will be required to dedicate up to $7 billion to other forms of relief, including forbearance of principal for unemployed borrowers, anti-blight programs, short sales and transitional assistance, benefits for service members who are forced to sell their homes at a loss as a result of a Permanent Change in Station, and other programs.

Payments to State and Federal Governments:

In addition to the $20 billion of financial relief for homeowners, the servicers will make $5 billion in cash payments to the states and federal government. Of the $5 billion:

Payments to Foreclosed Borrowers.

 

Through the settlement, a $1.5 billion Borrower Payment Fund will be established to provide cash payments to borrowers whose homes were sold or taken in foreclosure between and including Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011, and who meet other criteria. This program is distinct from, but complimentary to, the restitution program currently being administered by federal banking regulators to compensate those who suffered direct financial harm as a result of wrongful servicer conduct.

State and federal payments.

2

misconduct, fund housing counselors, legal aid, and other similar purposes determined by state attorneys general. The funds coming to the federal government will primarily be allocated to the FHA Capital Reserve Account, with portions also going to the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund and to the Rural Housing Service.

The remaining funds will go to state and federal governments to be used to repay public funds lost as a result of servicer

 

Financial Obligations of Individual Servicers:

Institution

Federal and State Payments

Relief to Borrowers

(Principal Writedown, Refinancing,

and Other Programs)

Ally Financial, Inc.

$110 million

$200 million

Bank of America Corp.

* including EDNY FHA origination settlement

$3.24 billion

$8.58 billion

Citigroup, Inc.

$415 million

$1.79 billion

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

$1.08 billion

$4.21 billion

Wells Fargo & Co.

$1.01 billion

$4.34 billion

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