Consumer Law Task Force

Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child ID Theft

Date: 
Tue, 07/12/2011 - 8:30am - 5:00pm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, will hold a forum to discuss child identity theft. Government, business, non-profit, legal service providers, and victim advocates will explore the nature of child identity theft, including foster care identity theft and identity theft within families, with the goal of advising parents and victims on how to prevent the crime and how to resolve child identity theft problems. The forum is free and open to the public.

A website for the upcoming child id theft forum is found at: http://ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/stolenfutures/.  An agenda is attached (and on the website).  To pre-register, please email your name and affiliation to childidtheft@ftc.gov. Pre-registration information is also available at the website.  The forum is free and open to the public. 

Attendance and Pre-Registration
“Stolen Futures:  A Forum on Child ID Theft” will be open to the public.  There is no fee to attend.  For admittance to the building, all attendees will be required to display a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license.

Pre-registration is not necessary to attend the Forum, but is encouraged so that we may better plan this event.  To pre-register, please email your name and affiliation to childidtheft@ftc.gov.  Participants are encouraged to submit articles or other written materials in advance of the Forum, which will be used by the FTC and OVC in planning the Forum and understanding the issues surrounding child id theft.

Forum Privacy Act Statement
When you pre-register, we collect your name, affiliation, and your email address.  We use the name and affiliation that you have provided for forum administration purposes - to estimate how many people will attend, prepare name tags, and better understand the likely audience for the forum, and we may use your email address to contact you with information about the forum.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other laws, we may be required to disclose the information you provide to outside organizations. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission's Privacy Policy at www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of this contact information to consider and use for the above purposes.

FTC PRIVACY POLICY
For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission's comprehensive Privacy Policy.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS
The Conference Center is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need an accommodation related to a disability, please contact Carrie McGlothin at cmcglothlin@ftc.gov or 202-326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodations needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.

Maryland Legal Aid advocates interested in attending should register directly with the FTC and cc: Yoanna at ymoisides@mdlab.org. As always, you should seek supervisor approval prior to attending.

 

Location
Location Name: 
FTC Conference Center
Address1: 
601 New Jersey Avenue, NW
City: 
Washington
State: 
DC
Zip: 
20001
Contact
Phone: 
childidtheft@ftc.gov
Sponsor: 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
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stolenfutures-agenda-v1.pdf316.61 KB

Maryland's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program: "EMA Direct"

Date: 
Thu, 06/30/2011 - 9:00am - 5:00pm

This is what we received in Frederick about this program.  My best suggestion, if you find this as confusing as I do, is to call 410-514-7268 for more details, or email SingleFamilyHousing@dhcd.state.md.us.  Application packet available at www.mdhope.org.

EMA event details

Location
Location Name: 
Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development Headquarters
Address1: 
100 Community Place
City: 
Crownsville
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21032
Contact
Phone: 
410-514-7268, or email SingleFamilyHousing@dhcd.state.md.us
Sponsor: 
Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development

Sample PIA - DHMH

Jennifer Goldberg offered this sample, with her usual humble disclaimer about how good it might be.  But it is a fine example, in concert with the one from Peter Sabonis for DLLR.

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PIA request DHMH.pdf358.55 KB

Sample PIA - DLLR

You can find a sample of a PIA, along with an accompanying letter requesting additional information, prepared by Peter Sabonis regarding DLLR issues at: http://www.mdjustice.org/node/1668.

I am not reattaching it, beause that would take up a good bit of space on the website server.

Frederick Co. couple victims of foreclosure scams

A Frederick County couple thought they had saved their home from foreclosure, but they’re living in a garage, WBAL-TV investigative reporter Barry Simms reported last night. Their lender is the target of a nationwide federal investigation, and as if that weren’t enough, the couple says things got worse when they hired an attorney, who they paid $15,000. Finally, they went to Maryland Legal Aid, which helped them win a judgment of $355,000–money that they’ll probably never collect.

“The real crime is someone stole their house, stole all their assets, and there’s no way to get it back,” Legal Aid staff attorney Kathleen Hughes, who handled the couples’ case. To see the report, click here.

National Forum on the Human Right to Housing

Date: 
Mon, 06/06/2011 - 8:00am - 5:00pm

National Forum on the Human Right to Housing

National Forum on the Human Right to HousingThe National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty will sponsor a National Forum on the Human Right to Housing on June 7-8, 2011, at the Thurgood Marshall Center in Washington, D.C. Discussion topics will include preventing homelessness, combatting criminalization of homelessness using a human rights framework, civil rights as human rights, federal and local budgets and human rights, violence and the right to housing, veteran homelessness, communications strategies. The conference will include a congressional briefing and an opportunity for participants to arrange meetings with their congressional delegations. The registration fee is $100 until May 16.

Location
Location Name: 
Thurgood Marshall Center
Address1: 
1816 12th Street, NW
City: 
Washington
State: 
DC
Zip: 
20009
Contact
Name: 
Christine Hwang
Phone: 
202-638-2535, chwang@nlchp.org
Sponsor: 
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

Midland Funding case dismissal and court announcement

As part of a class action settlement, the Maryland District Court has dismissed, without prejudice, over 10,000 debt collection cases filed by Midland Funding. The dismissals cover cases that were filed by Midland between Jan. 15, 2007 and Jan. 15, 2010, where no judgment or settlement was entered in the case. As part of the settlement, Midland has agreed not to re-file the cases or to sell the debts to a 3rd party. However, Midland does have the right to continue to try to collect on the debts by writing or calling the debtor. Any clients who have debts with Midland and are part of the class should be advised that if Midland contacts them to try to collect the debt, they can send a “Do Not Contact” letter to Midland requesting that it cease collection efforts. You may also want to provide the client with a copy of Legal Aid’s Debt Collection: Protect Yourself From Harassment brochure.

For additional information about the settlement, see the press release from the District Court below, and the Settlement Agreement attached. 

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Maryland Judiciary
2011-D Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
410-260-1488

For Immediate Release                                                                                                 CONTACT:  Angelita Plemmer                                                                                                                                                 Terri Bolling
                                                                                                                                                (410) 260-1488

Thousands of District Court of Maryland Cases Dismissed

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – March 17, 2011) Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn, District Court of Maryland, today signed a motion to dismiss 10,168 debt collection cases against Maryland residents. The mass dismissals are required by the terms of a settlement of a class action lawsuit against Midland Funding in U.S. District Court. 

The dismissals include cases against Maryland residents who have been sued in Maryland District Court between Jan. 15, 2007 and Jan. 15, 2010 by Midland Funding to collect debts. The cases are being dismissed because Midland Funding was not then licensed as a debt collection agency by the Maryland Department of Licensing and Labor Regulation (DLLR).

Defendants whose cases have been dismissed will receive written notification from the District Court of Maryland. To get more information, Maryland residents should contact the local District Court location where the debt collection case was filed. In addition to sending written notices to the people affected by this settlement, the District Court is directing that court records and the Judiciary Case Search public records website be updated to show the dismissals.

In 2010, Judge Clyburn dismissed more than 27,000 debt collection cases without prejudice against Marylanders when the law firm Mann Bracken LLP dissolved. Midland Funding is a former client of Mann Bracken LLP.

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Midland Stipulation of Settlement.jpg22.94 KB

Bank Account Garnishments

This book contains information for helping clients who are facing a bank account garnishment, including the new federal and state rules.

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New Bank Garnishment Rules.ppt6.21 MB
RULESORDER169thReport-Emergency-WORD.doc61 KB
New Treasury Rule on Bank Account Garnishments.pdf2.44 MB

Dodd-Frank, Dealers, and Financers

Date: 
Thu, 03/31/2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/127543945
 
The changing landscape of federal consumer protections for car buyers and how you can make a difference

With the enactment of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection was created and the Federal Trade Commission is no longer bound by cumbersome rulemaking procedures when creating rules to protect consumers in auto sales and finance transactions.  This webinar will review the new legislations and what it might mean for consumers.  It will also discuss the upcoming FTC roundtables examining consumer issues in car financing and leasing and how you can share your experience and knowledge.

This Webinar is provided by the National Consumer Law Center with a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is one of a series of webinars about working cars for working families.

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
Location
Location Name: 
Webinar
Contact
Name: 
Jessica Hiemenz
Phone: 
Jhiemenz@nclc.org
Sponsor: 
National Consumer Law Center

Webinar: ""Smart" Utility Meters And The Movement Toward Dynamic Pricing: The Need For Effective Consumer Protections"

Date: 
Wed, 03/30/2011 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/266785528  Space is limited.

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

Description:  

The delivery and pricing of essential electricity and natural gas utility services are undergoing rapid transformation. Spurred on by a massive infusion of federal dollars, utility companies across the country have begun rolling out advanced or “smart” metering systems that are capable of collecting usage information on an hourly basis. This capability allows utility companies to bill customers at varying rates throughout the course of a billing cycle. In addition, digitally operated metering systems provide utility companies with the capacity to implement automated, remote disconnection of utility service. Advanced metering systems also allow companies to move toward replacing the current credit-based billing system with a prepayment model where electricity or natural gas service is automatically discontinued when billing credits expire.

This interactive webinar will be facilitated by advocates from National Consumer Law Center and AARP, who will provide participants with information about:

• Smart meter background and technology, and

• Dynamic pricing of utility service.

 

The Webinar will also include discussion of particular concerns to elder and low-income consumers, including:

• The cost impact on consumers least able modify home energy consumption in response to dynamic “price signals,”

• Remote disconnection of essential utility service,

• Prepaid utility service, and

• Privacy issues.

 

Finally, the discussion will turn toward identification of:

• Essential consumer protections to ensure that consumers most vulnerable to the health and safety effects of utility service loss are not harmed by the deployment of digital metering systems,

• Regulatory and legislative forums where policy decisions regarding new utility technologies will be made, and

• Ways to weigh in on utility policy decision-making.  

 

Sponsorship for this Webinar is by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is in 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

 

System Requirements

PC-based attendees

Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

 

Macintosh®-based attendees

Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

New Treasury Rule - report from NCLC

This morning I have an email with various updates from NCLC in my inbox, and the first item is:

1. A watershed Treasury Rule, effective May 1, automatically protects exempt federal benefits from garnishment in bank accounts.  No longer will exempt funds in bank accounts be frozen pending resolution of  their status.  A special NCLC REPORTS on the rule is in the mail to subscribers and is available free to the general public at www.nclc.org/freeze.
 
I'll attach that special NCLC Report as a PDF to this post.
 
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nclc-rpts-repo-jan-feb-2011.pdf143.27 KB

Consumer Action Handbook and National Consumer Protection Week

It's National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 6-12.  Get a free copy, or download a pdf version, of the 2011 edition of the Consumer Action Handbook (shipping is free too). This is the bible of every consumer office in the country because it lists contacts for state and federal consumer agencies, corporate consumer affairs departments, and more. Order your 2011 book today. Delivery will be in April.  You can order copies in English and Spanish in bulk to give to clients at: http://consumeraction.gov/caw_orderhandbook_bulk.shtml.

I have attached the pdf version in English below, and will post a Spanish version when I find one. 

 

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2011-ConsumerActionHandbook.pdf2.35 MB

Foreclosure Solutions Workshop - Pro Bono Day

Date: 
Sat, 05/14/2011 - 10:00am - 2:00pm

Homeowners who pre-register for a workshop are guaranteed a free legal consult.

Homeowners do not need to be in foreclosure to obtain a consultation with a volunteer attorney.

Homeowners should bring the following documents (or copies) to the event with them:

*All paperwork related to current and former mortgages, including loan application, settlement paperwork, and lender statements.

*Information about the monthly household budget (income and expenses).

*All foreclosure notices or threats (if any).

Location
Location Name: 
Legal Aid Bureau
Address1: 
500 E. Lexington Street
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21202
Contact
Name: 
Adrienne Hagepanos
Phone: 
(410) 837-9379 or (800) 396-1274
Sponsor: 
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
AttachmentSize
Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide 2 3 11.pdf77.71 KB

Foreclosure Solutions Workshops - Money Power Day

Date: 
Sat, 04/02/2011 - 9:00am - 3:00pm

Homeowners who pre-register for a workshop are guaranteed a free legal consult.

Homeowners do not need to be in foreclosure to obtain a consultation with a volunteer attorney.

Homeowners should bring the following documents (or copies) to the event with them:

*All paperwork related to current and former mortgages, including loan application, settlement paperwork, and lender statements.

*Information about the monthly household budget (income and expenses).

*All foreclosure notices or threats (if any).

Location
Location Name: 
Poly-Western High School
Address1: 
1400 W. Cold Spring Lane
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21209
Contact
Name: 
Adrienne Hagepanos
Phone: 
(410) 837-9379 or (800) 396-1274
Sponsor: 
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
AttachmentSize
Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide 2 3 11.pdf77.71 KB

Call 2-1-1 for help finding health and human service resources

Maryland Call 2 1 1 Get Connected. Get Answers.

2-1-1 Maryland provides a link to community health and human service resources statewide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages.
 
 
Find and download a guide to help called "Help in Hard Times" from the United Way of Central Maryland at: http://issuu.com/uwcm/docs/helpnow

 

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