National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)

Founded 1969. Nonprofit with expertise in consumer law and energy policy that works for consumer justice and economic security. Headquartered in Boston and has office in Washington, DC.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: NATIONAL
Organization type(s): Research/Policy/Organizing
Acronym or short name: NCLC
Tags: Consumer Protection

Nonprofit with expertise in consumer law and energy policy that works for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and other disadvantaged people, including seniors.

NCLC’s expertise includes policy analysis and advocacy; consumer law and energy publications; litigation; expert witness services, and training and advice for advocates. NCLC works with nonprofit and legal services organizations, private attorneys, policymakers, and federal and state government and courts across the nation to stop exploitative practices, help financially stressed families build and retain wealth, and advance economic fairness.



At Capital One, Easy Credit and Abundant Lawsuits

Paul Kiel
December 28, 2015
A ProPublica analysis of state court filings reveals that Capital One sues its customers far more than any other bank.

News Story

Critics Assail Potential New York Move on Regulating Online Colleges

Kate Taylor
New York Times (NYT)
March 16, 2016
Consumer advocates, legal aid organizations and labor unions are urging New York State’s education commissioner not to sign an interstate agreement that they say would expose students to harm at the hands of online colleges and universities.

News Story

Widows, divorcees struggle with foreclosure rules, consumer group finds

Deirdre Fernandes
Boston Globe
March 23, 2016
Widows, as well as other surviving family members, and the recently divorced, continue to struggle to stay in their homes, according to a new report from the National Consumer Law Center.


Death and divorce don’t get sympathy from loan servicers

Susan Tompor
Detroit Free Press
March 23, 2016
The National Consumer Law Center released a report today detailing troubles faced after a transfer of ownership as a result of a death or family breakup.

News Story

When a nonprofit health system outsources its ER, debt collectors follow

Samantha Liss
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 17, 2016
A Post-Dispatch analysis found that CP Medical has filed at least 1,078 lawsuits in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County between Dec. 2, 2014, and March 10, 2016.


For Nebraska’s Poor, Get Sick and Get Sued

Paul Kiel
ProPublica, Daily Beast
April 28, 2016
Cheap court fees and looser rules make suing over medical debts as small as $60 easy. Every year Nebraska collection agencies file lawsuits by the tens of thousands.

News Story

Nonprofit Hospital Stops Suing So Many Poor Patients: Will Others Follow?

Paul Kiel, Chris Arnold
ProPublica, National Public Radio (NPR)
June 1, 2016
A story by ProPublica and NPR and a Senate investigation prompt a Missouri nonprofit hospital to change its policies and forgive thousands of patients’ debts. But without similar scrutiny, it’s unclear if other hospitals that sue the poor will change.

News Story

Public-interest groups are calling on Education Dept. to track racial disparities in student lending

Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
Washington Post
September 15, 2016
A coalition of 40 civil rights, legal-aid and public-interest groups is urging the Education Department to track and monitor the effect of student loans on people of color, who are shouldering the burden of education debt.

News Story

Rent-to-own: Court case sheds light on business practice

Kate Giammarise
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 26, 2016
A recent report from the National Consumer Law Center about such contracts noted that they are marked by grossly unequal bargaining power.

News Story

As Paperwork Goes Missing, Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away

Stacy Cowley, Jessica Silver-Greenberg
New York Times (NYT)
July 17, 2017
The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments.

News Story

More seniors are taking loans against their homes — and it’s costing them

Jenifer McKim
Washington Post
August 25, 2017
Across the nation, an increasing number of seniors are facing foreclosure after taking out reverse mortgages, either because they fell behind on property charges or failed to meet other requirements of the complex mortgage loans.

News Story

Hurricanes could bring another disaster: Foreclosures

Lydia DePillis
CNN Money
November 10, 2017
As life slowly returns to normal in hurricane-ravaged parts of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, housing experts and consumer advocates worry another crisis is on the horizon: Foreclosures.

News Story

Behind the Lucrative Assembly Line of Student Debt Lawsuits

Stacy Cowley, Jessica Silver-Greenberg
New York Times (NYT)
November 13, 2017
The tide of rising defaults has also turned into a lucrative business, with companies collecting tens of millions of dollars through settlements, wage garnishments and other compelled payments.


Consumer advocates will converge on Congress, but don’t expect GOP to see the light

David Lazarus
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
November 14, 2017
More than 100 consumer advocates and lawyers will meet throughout the day with lawmakers and staff members.

News Story

Detroit Pistons’ Tom Gores’ company sued in Mass. prisoner call lawsuit

Kirkland Crawford, Tresa Baldas
Detroit Free Press
May 8, 2018
According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by consumer and prisoner rights groups, Gores' company is tied to an illegal kickback scheme that nearly doubles the cost of jail phone calls made by inmates in Massachusetts.

News Story

Lawsuits charge Rainbow Realty’s rent-to-buy contracts target the most vulnerable

Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Lawyer
September 19, 2018
This is at least the third pending suit involving Rainbow Realty and its rent-to-buy program.


A cancer survivor paid an old debt, but collectors garnished her wages anyway. It’s part of a disturbing trend that’s about to get worse.

Martha Bergmark, Lauren Saunders
Business Insider
September 6, 2019
A few large debt-buying corporations overload our civil courts against powerless defendants who can't afford the legal help to defend themselves.

News Story

CFPB Summoning Zombie Debt Back to Life

Alexander Sammon
American Prospect, The
September 18, 2019
The consumer agency is finalizing new rules on debt collectors that would enable them to get judgments on illegitimate debts.

News Story

They Loan You Money. Then They Get A Warrant For Your Arrest.

Anjali Tsui
December 3, 2019
High-interest loan companies are using Utah’s small claims courts to arrest borrowers and take their bail money. Technically, the warrants are issued for missing court hearings. For many, that’s a distinction without a difference.

Blog Post

Protecting Taxpayers from Abuse

Martha Bergmark
Huffington Post
April 14, 2014
Civil legal aid groups, their lawyers and volunteers play an important role in protecting low-income taxpayers against abuse by tax preparers and minimizing the drain from taxpayers pocketbooks.

This page last modified: Thu, April 30, 2015 -- 7:59 pm ET