NACA’s second online Spring Training combines a subject matter-focused conference with the resource opportunities of a large conference. Due to circumstances with COVID-19, we are holding this conference online again this year. This event is a member-only opportunity.
One of NACA's top priorities continues to be changing the tax law so that consumer law attorneys’ fees are not taxable to your clients. We are always exploring new and practical ways to avoid this problem and continue our efforts to find a permanent solution through litigation and/or legislation. To that end, NACA has recently commissioned a survey about the public’s understanding of consumer protection law and the ability of consumers to obtain affordable legal help.
In a 2019 NACA survey, the majority of responding consumer attorneys (65%) has worked on cases for consumers who received a written disclosure from a debt collector related to the collection of time-barred debt. More than half said that their clients “rarely” understood the disclosures. Legal aid attorneys in particular (85% of them) said that their clients “rarely” or “never” understood the disclosures. Only 5% of respondents said that their clients “usually” or “always” understand the time-barred debt disclosures.
On May 7, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a 538-page document that discusses its proposed debt collection rule, including nearly 100 pages of proposed regulations and comments. The proposed regulations would be the first ever issued to interpret the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the primary federal law governing consumer debt collection. Our discussion will focus on what has been proposed, what the proposal means for consumers and their claims under the FDCPA, and how our community can engage during the public comment period.
Dealing with the media is often a skill that's outside the comfort zone of many consumer attorneys, and that's a shame. They frequently have great stories to tell about injustices done to consumers and efforts to remedy them, and those stories should be much more widely heard. A few basic tips for dealing with reporter inquiries can go a long way toward getting those stories out. Hear what you can do from a twenty-year veteran of journalism.
What You Will Learn
The recently passed federal tax law may have significant consequences for all consumer lawyers and their clients. All legal aid and private consumer lawyers need to understand the potential impact of this new tax law.