U.S. Department of Justice
May 1, 2015
This U.S. Department of Justice case study summarizes the benefits of civil legal aid to protect consumers and the recent actions made by the federal government.
A brief overview that emphasizes the current need to protect consumers in the United States and the various benefits that civil legal aid provides to combat this problem, including how legal aid helps:
• Assert consumer rights when businesses, lenders, or debt collectors have not followed the law.
• Create awareness through outreach by educating consumers about federal and state laws and how to spot and avoid abusive tactics.
• Provide debt collection information on their websites, linking to free legal hotlines for individuals to ask questions about their rights.
• Prevent unnecessary foreclosure or repossession by defending or asserting claims against brokers and lenders who violate laws, negotiating loan modifications to reduce debt and interest rates, and representing victims in civil proceedings.
• Identify predatory loans so that consumers can avoid improper or illegal lending terms and practices.
• Correct harm caused by identity theft or credit reporting errors by providing forms and letters to fix credit discrepancies and by aiding victims to report theft to the proper federal and local authorities.
• Report complaints about financial and other consumer harms to appropriate government entities.
Keywords: DOJ, Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative, Case Studies, Consumer, Debt, Credit, Loan, Lending
PUBLICATION DETAILSFormat: Research
Publication Type: Fact Sheet
Geographic coverage, US: NATIONAL
Topics: Benefits of Legal Aid: Other
Case type: Bankruptcy/Debtor Relief, Collection Practices/Creditor Harrassment, Collection/Repossession, Consumer/Finance, Contracts/Warranties, Predatory Lending (not mortgages), Unfair & Deceptive Sales
Practice Area: Consumer
How Provided: Legal Aid Attorneys, Pro Bono
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LINKS TO RESOURCESCivil Legal Aid Supports Federal Efforts to Help Protect Consumers
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