TimeCourse NumberLevelTrackTitleSpeakersCourse Description
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
5:00PM-7:00PMWomen Attorneys Meet & GreetJoin together for a chance to connect with other women attorneys before the conference gets off the ground. Discussion will focus on issues raised by the group with the hope of open and supportive dialogue. Dinner plans after for those interested.
5:00PM-7:00PMEarly Registration and Web App SupportBoston Sheraton Hotel, Floor Two
6:00PM-8:00PMYoga Class & MeditationYog Instructor: John Ellem (Ellem Law Office) is a certified 200 hr RYT certified yoga instructorThird Floor, Sheraton Boston in Gardner Room. Please bring your own mat, if possible. If not, NCLC will have 10-15 rental mats provided by Lululemon Prudential for your use!
7:00PM-8:30PMFDCPA MeetingQ&A on developing your FDCPA Practice
7:30PM-8:00PMVolunteer Training
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
7:00AM-5:00PMRegistration and Web App Support
7:30AM-9:00AMContinental Breakfast
7:30AM-9:00AMFirst Timer's Breakfast
9:00AM-10:15AMMortgage Servicing Strategy SummitThis roundtable discussion for advanced litigators will focus on industry developments and recent trends in home defense and mortgage servicing litigation. It will provide an informal opportunity to share ideas and strategies for effectively litigating mortgage servicing cases. It will include a discussion of successor liability issues and how the consumer advocate community can best respond to corporate restructuring and bankruptcy filings by mortgage servicers and lenders (including a debriefing on the Ditech Chapter 11 case). NOTE: Not eligible for CLEs
9:00AM-10:15AMA1ABCMortgageMortgages and Mortgage Markets 101Lorray Brown (Michigan Poverty Law Program) & Diane Cipollone (Cipollone Legal Consults LLC) This beginner level course for attorneys and paralegals will focus on foreclosure defense matters and affirmative litigation against mortgage servicers. Training will cover contractual issues related to the mortgage/deed of trust and promissory note; types of promissory notes; identifying the parties and related entities; and issues involving assignees, servicers, securitization. We will also discuss loss mitigation options for home retention and provide an overview of important RESPA and TILA regulations. Course materials will include links to publicly available mortgage servicing guidelines and the CFPB's RESPA and TILA regulations.
A2IntermediateFDCPA/Debt DefenseDefending Against Efforts to Compel Arbitration of FDCPA ClaimsKarla Gilbride (Public Justice) & Elizabeth Ryan (Bailey & Glasser LLP)What can you do if you are facing forced arbitration in your FDCPA case? This panel will discuss the challenges you can make to arbitration clauses including parsing the language of the clause to determine where such clauses may be vulnerable and determining if the party enforcing the clause has to right to do so. Arbitration clauses may not be properly framed to allow enforcement in particular cases and others may have changed hands numerous times as the debt has been sold and transferred. Learn about these tried and true techniques to fight arbitration clauses.
A3Intermediate/AdvancedPracticeHow to Mediate Consumer CasesBrad Honoroff (The Mediation Group), Hon. Patrick King (Ret.)(Settlement Counsel 1st Cir. Court of Appeals), & Moderator John Roddy (Bailey & Glasser, LLP)The outcome of a mediation hinges on a number of variables: your advocacy skills, the strength of your case, the reasonableness and flexibility of both sides (or lack thereof); the mediator’s skill and creativity; and the point in the case when mediation begins. This session will explore the recommended approaches and advice of two extremely well-respected, accomplished and experienced mediators. The panelists will also answer questions from attendees to make the session interactive and responsive to the issues the audience brings to bear.
A4All LevelsAutoThe Future of AutoJohn Van Alst (NCLC)From the rise of electric vehicles to the growth of subscription services the auto market is rapidly changing. This session will look at the changing marketplace and the implications for consumers.
A5BeginnerTCPATCPA for BeginnersJustin Holcombe (Skarr & Feagle, LLP) & Amy Wells (Keogh Law)The TCPA is a powerful tool to stop unwanted robocalls, requiring the award of $500 to $1500 for every illegal call. This session will outline the basics of the law and how to successfully bring TCPA cases.
A6beginner/intermediateEthics/LitigationEthical Considerations in Consumer LitigationSusan Rotkis (Consumer Litigation Associates, PLLC) & John Ukegbu (Northeast New Jersey Legal Services)This session will discuss ethical issues that arise in consumer law cases and how to handle them . Topics include : confidentiality provisions, non-disclosure agreements, indemnification clauses, nonsolicitation agreements; and ethical issues involving settlement negotiations. The panel will also discuss hypothetical situations in settlement conference/mediation, with a possible mock session.
10:30AM-11:45AMB1IntermediateMortgageThe Present and Future of Fintech MortgagesAlys Cohen & Margot Saunders (NCLC) & Jennifer S. Wagner (Mountain State Justice)We will cover e-sign regulations to understand how they apply to mortgage origination issues including electronic disclosures, contracts, and signatures. We also will look at fintech developments in origination, including smart contracts, blockchain land records, automated valuations, and income verification, and cash flow analysis. What are the risks? How do current rules apply?
B2BeginnerStudent LoansThe Changing Student Loan Landscape: Recent Developments in Federal Student Loan Policy and PracticeColleen Campbell (Center for American Progress), Tariq Habash (Student Borrower Protection Center), & Robyn Smith (NCLC)This session will provide an overview of significant developments in the federal student loan system that are likely of interest to lawyers who work with borrowers, including updates on the implementation of the borrower defense to repayment rules and updates regarding any recent changes in Department of Education policies, practices, and tools related to federal student loan relief and management.
B3BeginnerFCRA/Litigation & Criminal JusticeTenant Screening: Policy and Litigation solutions to addressing a critical aspect of the eviction/housing crisisEsme Caramello (Harvard Legal Aid Bureau) & Eric Dunn (National Housing Law Project), Jamie Fishman (Fishman Law, P.C.)There is a rental housing crisis in many American cities. Low- and moderate-income tenants are having trouble getting and keeping housing. One factor in this crisis is the use of eviction and criminal records, from both commercial tenant screening agencies and court records, which shut out thousands if not millions of consumers. This session will discuss how to help these consumers with both litigation and policy (legislative or administrative) solutions
B4All LevelsAutoAutofraud on the Lot and on the NetRon Burdge (Burdge Wells Law Office)This session explores the “behind the scenes” process of retail car sales in both “on the lot” sales and sales resulting from a buyer’s online internet use. It is presented as an overview, explaining the primary steps and the normal processes used by the vast majority of motor vehicle dealerships in the United States, including recreational vehicle dealerships.
B5ABCFDCPA/Debt DefenseABCs of the Fair Debt Collection Practices ActAriana Lindermayer (Mobilization for Justice) & Craig Shapiro (Law Office of John T. Orcutt)This session will provide a general overview of parties involved in the debt collection industry and of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, focusing on coverage, violations, and remedies.
B6AdvancedLitigationWhat’s left? Standing after SpokeoJohn Albanese (Berger Montague)Consumer rights litigators face many significant obstacles in their efforts to hold businesses accountable but, over the last 10 years, challenges to plaintiffs' Article III standing have become increasingly difficult to navigate. This is especially true in privacy rights cases, which commonly involve broad scale violations of legal rights and liquidated damages, not out-of-pocket monetary losses. The Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Spokeo v. Robins has created additional confusion as lower courts struggle to apply the new standing test. This session will look at the Court's recent decision in Frank v. Gaos and review other significant cases to sort out what is left standing
11:45AM-12:00PMCoffee Break
12:00PM-12:45PMOpening Plenary
12:45-2:15PMLunch on Your Own
Networking Group Lunches
Brownbag: Keeping Pace with PACE
Brownbag: Foreclosure Mediation ProgramsCoordinated by Geoff Walsh (NCLC)
Brownbag: Fighting Back Against Home Equity TheftCoordinated by Sarah I. Stein (Atlanta Legal Aid Society)
Brownbag: Online Dispute ResolutionSome courts are using online dispute resolution (ODR) and many others are currently investigating adoption of ODR. Come and share your experiences with ODR. Discuss what ODR means for consumers. The focus of the discussion will be on the use/proposed use of ODR in collection lawsuits. (Please feel free to bring your lunch.)
2:15PM-3:45PMC1BeginnerMortgage/BanktruptcySaving Homes in Bankruptcy: Why Chapter 13 Should be Part of Your ToolboxNate Juster (US District Court, Northern District of Georgia), Sarah Mancini (NCLC), & Linda Rawls (Legal Services of South Central Michigan) This session will help participants get comfortable with the core concepts of consumer bankruptcy practice as they relate to saving homes. For consumer lawyers handling mortgage cases, but who have little-to-no experience with bankruptcy, it is meant to provide a road map and encourage you to add this to your array of strategies. We will cover issues like the automatic stay, curing a mortgage default through a chapter 13 plan, stripping junior liens, payment disputes after bankruptcy, and more.
C2ABCStudent LoanABCs of Student Loans: How to Challenge Garnishments and OffsetsJoanna Darcus (National Consumer Law Center) & Deanne Loonin (Project on Predatory Lending, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) This session will provide participants with a background in student loan issues. It will also provide an overview of the different types of loans, the consequences of defaulting on a student loan, and an introduction to the tools necessary to assist borrowers. It will include a particular focus on helping borrowers who are experiencing wage garnishment or offset of their tax refunds or federal benefits due to a defaulted federal student loan.
C3ABCCredit & DepositsABC's of TILATom Domonoske (Consumer Litigation Associates) & Nicholas H. Mattison (Feferman, Warren & Mattison)Consumer lawyers routinely review loans, including auto loans, payday loans, tax loans, and pawn loans. All of this paper is an opportunity: experience teaches that many loans violate the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). TILA claims can take many forms and serve many purposes, from creating powerful counterclaims in individual debt collection cases, to forming the basis for class actions. This session will provide hands-on tools for identifying and litigating TILA closed-end credit cases.
C4ABCAutoABC’s of AutofraudBernard Brown (The Brown Law Firm) & Kristin Kemnitzer (Kemnitzer Barron & Krieg, LLP) This session will survey the surprisingly many kinds of fraud that are common in both sales and financing of used cars, and will provide insights about the auto sales industry. It will include an introductory discussion of many causes of action and remedies that can be brought to bear, will include some discussion of forced arbitration, and will review key points for intake and initial investigation of potential auto fraud cases, up to the filing of suit.
C5ABCFCRAABCs of FCRA Sylvia Bolos (Lyngklip & Assoc) & Ian Lyngklip (Lyngklip & Assoc) The basics of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit reporting industry, and other consumer reporting agencies
C6All LevelsFDCPA/Debt DefenseUtility Debt: Consumer Protections and StrategiesCharlie Harak & Olivia Wein (NCLC)About 1/3 of US households struggle to pay their utility and phone bills, and utility debt is a top reason that consumers give for resorting to payday loans. In this session, you will learn about examples of the types of consumer protections that are available to help struggling consumers, how to determine whether your state offers protections that can help your clients, and how to advocate for protections that could be replicated in other states. Topics will include helping consumers with electricity or natural gas debt, possible claims against competitive energy supply companies, and access to Lifeline voice and data service.
3:45PM-4:00PMCoffee Break
4:00PM-5:15PMD1IntermediateMortgageRobbery with the Stroke of a Pen: Home Equity Theft and "We Buy Houses" ScamsMelissa Huelsman (Law Offices of Melissa A. Huelsman, P.S.), Mal Maynard (Financial Protection Law Center), Michael Froehlich (Community Legal Services of Philadelphia), & Sarah Mancini (National Consumer Law Center) In the aftermath of the national foreclosure crisis, predatory actors have continued to barrage our clients and communities with schemes to steal home equity. Advocates describe schemes where mortgage lenders play less of central of a role, but instead they have to contend with a variety of contracts and arrangements, some of which are picked up by "investors" at seminars. This session will include experienced advocates discussing the variety of schemes being used, legal theories, litigation strategies, and other approaches to stopping them. This session is a companion to E6, as there will be some overlap in the legal issues that arise in these two types of home scams.
D2IntermediateFDCPA/Debt DefenseNavigating FDCPA practice in the wake of Supreme Court decisions in Henson and ObduskeyCassandra Miller (Edelman, Combs, Latturner, & Goodwin, LLC) & Geoff Walsh (NCLC)In Henson v. Santander (2017) and in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus (2019) the Supreme Court interpreted the FDCPA in ways that limited coverage of certain parties and activities. In both rulings the court focused on the FDCPA’s definition of “debt collector,” specifically as applied to debt buyers and to parties conducting mortgage foreclosures. However, the rulings were not as far-reaching as they may at first appear. This session will explore the ways you can navigate around both decisions and still bring viable debt collection claims against parties such as debt buyers, foreclosure law firms, and mortgage servicers.
D3BeginnerFCRAAfter the Data Breach: Helping ID Theft Victims with FCRA, EFTA, FCBA, & moreCarla Sanchez-Adams (Texas RioGrande Legal Aid) & Stephanie Tatar (Tatar Law Firm, APC)Hardly a day goes by without another company announcing that it has been subject to a data breach, creating a risk of ID Theft. ID Theft can also involve family, friends or others who the victim knows. This session will cover how to assist victims of ID theft using the alphabet soup of the consumer laws - the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act and more
D4beginner/intermediatePracticeCollaborations Between Legal Aid and Private Practice AttorneysStefanie Davis (Legal Services Corporation), Jim Kowalski (Jacksonville Legal Aid), Craig E. Rothburd (Craig E. Rothburd, P.A.), Wingo Smith (Atlanta Legal Aid) & Dick Woltman (Bay Area Legal Services) This session would continue the efforts, over the last 3 NCLC conferences, to provide practical examples and processes to encourage legal aid lawyers to spot issues and co-counsel with private practice consumer lawyers, aided this year by the publication of NACA's Best Practices Guide for Private Public Partnerships
D5AdvancedCredit/Criminal JusticeRent-to-Own and New Retail Finance ProductsCarrie Floyd (Lakeshore Legal Aid), Brian Highsmith (NCLC), & Margot Saunders (NCLC)How to tell the difference between rent-to-own and lease-to-own, and why it matters; and did you know about the rent-to-own services or pets? Here is what to do about these nefarious conracts.
D6IntermediateLitigationComing to Terms – Protect Your Clients by Negotiating the Best Settlement Terms James Hurt (Hurt Stolz, PC) & Mandi Matlock (Texas RioGrande Legal Aid)The vast majority of civil cases settle but not always on the best terms. This session will provide best practices and show how to avoid traps. We will also address important tax matters, common contested issues such as non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses, successful negotiating tactics, and other important provisions for fee-shifting cases. Sample forms included.
5:15PM-6:15PMPlenary Session
5:15PM-6:15PMElectronic Repo and GPS Tracking Strategy SummitThis roundtable discussion is for those actively engaged or wishing to become actively engaged in litigation or policy advocacy regarding electronic repossession and GPS tracking. This informal discussion will focus on the push towards state legislation in this area, industry developments, and sharing ideas and strategies for effectively addressing the rise in electronic repossession and tracking through policy and practice. NOTE: Not eligible for CLEs
6:15PM-7:15PMOpening Night Mixer
7:30PM-9:30PMLegal Aid Reception
Friday, November 15th, 2019
7:30AM-5:00PMRegistration and Web App Support
7:30AM-9:00AMContinental Breakfast
7:30AM-5:30PMWomen's Breakfast & Networking SuiteExcellent opportunity for women in the field to network, gather resources, discuss a case, and build or grow relationships. The Suite will be open all day.
8:30-9:15AMPlenary Session
9:30-10:45AMRent-A-Bank Predatory Loan Strategy SummitPredatory lenders are increasingly forming bank partnerships to evade state interest rate, licensing and other laws. This roundtable is an informal opportunity to share ideas on how to stop this dangerous trend, including through litigation by attorneys general and state regulators, policy advocacy by consumer advocates, and story gathering by legal services offices and others. Note that this roundtable will not delve into legal theories, and more detail on rent-a-bank partnerships will be covered in the 3:15 panel on Fighting High-Cost Loans in DC and Around the Country. NOTE: not eligible for CLEs
9:30AM-10:45AME1IntermediateMortgageRESPA Update Andrea Bopp Stark (NCLC) & Jonathan Selkowitz (Pine Tree Legal Assistance)Learn about recent RESPA decisions and how Courts have interpreted RESPA and Reg. X. We will also discuss both new and repeat defenses brought by mortgage servicers, what Courts have said about them, and strategies to address these arguments.
E2BeginnerFDCPA/Debt Defense & Criminal JusticeRepresenting Clients with Criminal Justice DebtsDaniel Bowes (North Carolina Justice Center), Orion Danjuma (ACLU), Alex Kornya (Iowa Legal Aid) & Abby Shafroth (NCLC)America’s justice system is increasingly financed by the imposition of heavy fees and fines on individuals accused of crimes, traffic violations, and civil infractions. The resulting "criminal justice debt" owed by individuals can have crippling consequences when individuals are unable to pay, from prolonged state supervision, to restrictions on expungement, to wage garnishment, to suspension of a driver’s license or even incarceration. This session will discuss how legal aid and other attorneys concerned about oppressive debt collection practices, and the financial and racial justice implications of this system, can represent clients with criminal justice debts individually and at scale.
E3BeginnerPracticeIssue Spotting: Consumer and Civil Legal Issues for DV survivorsYvette Butler (Center for Survivor Agency & Justice) & Carla Sanchez-Adams (Texas RioGrande Legal Aid) This workshop is for consumer lawyers interested in enhancing their advocacy to address the unique ways that consumer issues manifest for survivors, and the unique remedies and partnerships required. Through case scenarios, and reviewing CSAJ's Guidebook on Consumer & Economic Civil Legal Advocacy for Survivors, the workshop will focus on issue spotting and practical strategies for consumer attorneys as well as partnership building between domestic violence attorneys and advocates and consumer lawyers
E4All LevelsAutoA Talk With Arbitrators: What they expect from counsel, and what you can expect from the ArbitratorsDavid Seligman (Towards Justice) & Ron Wilcox (Wilcox Law Firm, P.C.)The discussion with arbitrators from JAMS, AAA, and elsewhere, will include:
1. What arbitrators expect from attorneys at the Preliminary Hearing (how to argue for the discovery you need), and what counsel can expect in return;
2. How arbitrators handle events during the course of the arbitration including discovery motions, dispositive motions, motions in limine;
3. What arbitrators expect in advance of and in regard to the Final Hearing (pre and post hearing briefing, handling of witnesses and evidence, etc), and what counsel can expect in return.
E5IntermediatePracticePreparing for Depositions with the Successful End Goal in MindJustin Baxter (Baxter & Baxter, LLP) & Duran Keller (Keller Law, LLP)Make your depositions count and get the most out of your depositions! Preparing for depositions with summary judgment and trial in mind. Practical examples (audio, video, and transcripts) of converting theory into usable testimony. Logistics, strategies, and tactics for dealing with evasive witnesses and combative opposing counsel.
Home Purchase Scams: Land Contracts, Lease-Options, and Beyond
Brittany McCormick (Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid), Steve Sharpe (NCLC/Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio) & Darrius Woods (Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation)This session will address litigation, media, legislative, and other strategies to address the continuing prevalence of predatory home purchase scams happening outside of the standard mortgage context, specifically land installment contracts and leases with option to buy. Advocates continue to push back on these schemes, and this panel will update attendees about recent successes and challenges we still face. We will devote some time to the issue of well-resourced scammers that attempt to hide their size (and number of transactions) by using multiple tiny LLC's or land trusts as the seller, landlord, or creditor in their transactions. Effective community outreach will also be a focus of this panel. This session is a companion to D1, which will cover similar issues in the home equity theft context.
10:45AM-11:00AMCoffee Break
11:00AM-12:30PMCriminal Justice Strategy SummitDo you work on criminal justice debt, reentry, expungement, traffic court, or debt-based driver's license suspensions, or are you interested in getting involved in these areas? If so, please join us for a strategy summit to meet other advocates working on these issues, discuss ideas for starting or expanding a practice, share the problems you're seeing in your jurisdiction and the challenges you're facing, discuss support resources, and connect those working doing impact litigation and policy work and those engaged in direct representation. NOTE: Not eligible for CLEs
11:00AM-12:15PMF1AdvancedMortgageUsing the Rules of Evidence to Set Up Wins in Mortgage and Foreclosure-Related Trials and in Appeals Elizabeth W. Hanes (Consumer Litigation Associates), Thad Bartholow, III (Kellett & Bartholow PLLC) & Tom Cox (National Consumer Law Center) Learn how the rules of evidence can help you protect homeowners at trial, and how to use the rules to set up winning appeals.  Without a proper evidentiary foundation, mortgage holders and servicers cannot foreclose and cannot get a deficiency judgment. Yet they often try to introduce key records without a properly qualified witnesses or records custodians.  This session will describe the rules of evidence and objections you can use to keep unreliable evidence out.  It will also cover other evidentiary strategies and techniques for defeating foreclosures and deficiency judgments.
F2IntermediateLitigationComplementary AG and Private LawsuitsIrv Ackelsberg (Langer Grogan & Diver, PC), Jill Habig (Public Rights Project) & Shennan Kavanagh (Massachusetts Attorney General's Office)Over the past few decades state attorneys general have increased consumer protection resources in their offices and expanded their efforts to enforce consumer protection laws in their jurisdictions. This session will discuss the evolving nature of state attorney general enforcement activity in consumer protection matters and offer some helpful tips on how the efforts of both private attorneys and AGs can be focused to more effectively provide consumer protection.
F3BeginnerPracticeConsumer Protection for Service Members Nick Akers (California Department of Justice), Robert Muth (University of San Diego Veterans Legal Clinic)An overview and update on military consumer protection, including cultural competency and issues affecting the military community, as well as opportunities for private litigation and government enforcement under state and federal law, including California's AB 3212.
F4IntermediateTCPA/Debt Defense and FDCPATCPA: Effective Use of the TCPA for Individual Cases Challenging Debt Collection Harassment. Billy Howard (The Consumer Protection Firm) & Andy Milz (Flitter Milz, PC)Learn how to use the powerful federal statute prohibiting unwanted robocalls as a method of redress for unwanted debt collection calls.
F5IntermediatePracticeWorking with the Media: How Journalists Do their Job and How to Use Media Outreach in Your AdvocacyChris Arnold (NPR), Jenifer McKim (The New England Center for Investigative Reporting) & Jan Kruse (National Consumer Law Center)Our clients have compelling stories that journalists want to tell. This panel discussion will address how journalists do their job and how advocates can better work with them. Bring your questions and experiences for a broad-ranging discussion on the media with journalists and an experienced communications director.
F6All LevelsLitigation / PracticeHow to help limit your client’s tax liability for your attorney’s feesAudry Patten (The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) & Ira Rheingold (NACA)Learn why your attorney fees in consumer cases can be taxable to your client, strategies to limit your client’s tax liability and what NACA is doing to change the IRS’ legal interpretation that has created this problem
12:00PM-3:00PMFree Head Shots
12:15PM-1:45PMLunch on Own and Networking Lunches
Advocates of Color Luncheon
Brownbag Lunch/Roundtable
1:45PM-3:00PMG1IntermediateMortgageAsk Not What Your Country Can Do For You; Ask How to Stop Foreclosures on Government-Insured LoansRenee Cadmus (Legal Services of New Jersey) & Steve Sharpe (NCLC/Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio)Government guaranteed and insured loan programs are designed to provide housing stability and opportunity to low- to moderate-income clients and include specific options to help borrowers avoid foreclosure. This session will discuss the current state of litigation strategies for helping borrowers avoid unnecessary foreclosures. While the primary focus will be on the largest program (FHA-insured loans), it will address address VA-guaranteed, USDA-guaranteed, and USDA direct loans.
G2AdvancedCredit/Student LoansWhen is a loan not a loan? Slippery new fintech products for students, homeowners, wage advances and moreElizabeth Renuart (NCLC) & Lauren Saunders (NCLC) A new crop of start-up “fintech” (financial technology) companies is offering products that address credit needs but claim to be outside credit laws. PACE loans and home appreciation finance target homeowners and seniors. Income share agreements target students and people looking to finance their wedding. Early wage advance and overdraft protection apps focus on people who use payday loans. Others offer installment payments for online purchases. Many of these products tout no interest, low risk, and no debt, yet they can have hidden costs and consequences. This session will survey these products and discuss whether TILA, the EFTA, ECOA rules and other laws apply.
G3AdvancedFCRA/Criminal JusticeSealing, Expungement and FCRA: Criminal Records Reporting in a New EraSharon Dietrich (Community Legal Services, Inc.), E. Michelle Drake (Berger Montague), & Judith Whiting (Community Service Society)32 states have some form of criminal records sealing or expungement law - each differ quite a bit in terms of coverage and effect. Given these laws, what can CRAs report if a record is sealed or expunged? And what are the remedies when they go too far?
G4All LevelsLitigation/Student LoansRepresenting Consumers When Their Creditors File Chapter 11 Eileen Connor (Project on Predatory Lending, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School) & Victor Noskov (Quinn Emmanuel) & Tara Twomey (NCLC) Frequently consumers have claims against businesses or individuals who file bankruptcy. The bankrupt may be a retailer, finance company, landlords, or even a former spouse. Advocates need to understand how bankruptcy can affect their claims and defenses and what tools are available to protect them. This session will focus on topics of special importance to consumer creditors like student loan borrowers or mortgage borrowers.
G5AdvancedEthicsEthical Pursuit and Handling of Effective Cy Pres AwardsCary Flitter (Flitter Milz), Dave Philipps (Philipps & Philipps, Ltd.), & Jim Sturdevant (The Sturdevant Law Firm) Strategies for proposing sound cy pres award recipients linked to the issues and claims in the case when it is not feasible to distribute all funds to the class members; avoiding conflicts of interest and self-dealing, and ensuring that unclaimed funds do not revert to defendants.
G6All LevelsFDCPA/Debt DefenseLife Cycle of A State CampaignAnn Baddour (Texas Appleseed), Felisa Hagins (SEIU Local 49) & Marceline White (Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition)This session will provide a road map of how to implement state legislative reforms both in terms of developing the elements of a campaign as well as strategies for effectively using those elements once you have them. The session will focus on state legislative debt collection reforms, as that is an area where reforms are being proposed around the country, but the strategies we discuss will be useful in any legislative campaign.
3:00PM-3:15PMCoffee Break
3:15PM-4:45PMH1IntermediateMortgageRepresenting Older Homeowners and Surviving Spouses Facing Reverse Mortgage ForeclosureBerbeth Foster (Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, Inc.), Rachel Scott (Atlanta Legal Aid), and Sarah White (Connecticut Fair Housing Center)The number of older homeowners facing foreclosure on a reverse mortgage has steadily climbed over the last few years. Loss mitigation and other options are limited and difficult to access. Older borrowers and their surviving spouses face multiple barriers in avoiding foreclosure and eviction including meeting short deadlines and programmatic requirements, getting accommodation, communicating with servicers and meeting documentation requirements. This session will focus on advocacy ranging from loss mitigation to litigation related to property charge defaults, alleged non-occupancy, non-borrowing spouses, and emerging issues. This session is geared toward lawyers who have a basic understanding of reverse mortgages.
H2IntermediateFDCPA/Debt Defense & Student LoansWorkshop: Practice Issue-Spotting to Build Your Debt Defense Case and Identify Affirmative ClaimsJoanna Darcus (NCLC)Through this interactive session, participants will gain hands-on experience with issue-spotting by reviewing real documents, such as account statements and forward flow agreements, that are commonly at issue in debt collection defense cases. Hone your skills and share your experience with others who defend--or are interested in defending--consumers against lawsuits filed by original creditors and debt buyers.
H3AdvancedFCRAFCRA Developments Jennifer Bennett (Public Justice), Justin Brookman (Consumer Reports), Jim Francis (Francis Mailman Soumilas, PC), & Dick Rubin (Law Office of Richard J. Rubin) This course discusses caselaw, statutory and regulatory developments under the FCRA. This year will also feature a discussion of state privacy laws
H4All LevelsPracticeStating the case and brief writing tipsBrian Wolfman (Georgetown Univ. Law School)Knowing a case’s substantive law and factual record cold is (of course) critical to successful trial-court motion practice and appellate litigation. But equally important is placing the law and facts in the best, most credible light, and nothing on that score is more important than the “statement of the case”—that is, providing the court with the background law, the historical facts, and the procedural history as a lens through which to view the entire case. We’ll discuss pointers for stating the case and other brief writing tips as well.
H5IntermediateCredit & DepositsFighting High-Cost Loans in DC and Around the CountryLauren Saunders (NCLC) & Lisa Stifler (Center for Responsible Lending)What is happening with the CFPB’s payday loan rule? Are high-cost bank payday loans coming back? What can we do about high-cost lenders using rent-a-bank partnerships or other means to evade state interest rate caps? How are “fintech” start-ups working to get out of federal and state credit laws? Are states curtailing short- and long-term payday lending or expanding it? What is a “sandbox” and why is it a threat to consumer protection laws? Come hear about all the activity and what you can do to help!
H6IntermediateStudent LoansStudent Loan Preemption IssuesBonnie Latreille (Student Borrower Protection Center), Yael Shavit (Mass AG's Office), & Daniel Zibel (National Student Legal Defense Network)Both the current Secretary of Education and defendants in litigation have argued for a broad interpretation of federal preemption provisions that would block enforcement of certain state consumer protections for student loan borrowers. This session will discuss preemption issues that arise in litigation against servicers, debt collectors, and predatory schools--as well as in new state legislative efforts to protect student borrowers--and how to address or avoid them.
7:00PM-9:30PM50th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
8:00AM-5:00PMRegistration and Web App Support
7:30AM-9:30AMContinental Breakfast
8:45AM-10:00AMI1IntermediateMortgageFlood Insurance: From Risk Assessment and Mitigation to Post-Flood Claims and RecoverySamuel Bell (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.), Joseph Sant (The Center for NYC Neighborhoods), & Tara Twomey (NCLC)This session will cover flood insurance issues from risk assessment and mitigation to post-flood claims and recovery. We'll discuss how to read flood determinations, risk mitigation and pre-disaster preparation, as well as post-disaster claims and rebuilding.
I2AdvancedPractice/Criminal JusticeCommercialized (In)Justice: Protecting Prisoners and Their Loved Ones From Financial ExploitationStephen Raher (Prison Policy Initiative), Bianca Tylek (Worth Rises)The growth of public expense associated with mass incarceration has led many carceral systems to push certain costs onto the people who are under correctional supervision, as well as their loved ones. In the case of prisons and jails, this frequently takes the form of charges and fees associated with telecommunications, financial services, and other basic needs—the provision of which is typically outsourced to a private firm. This panel will explore the practices of prison retailers and discuss some of the potential legal protections that may apply under consumer law.
I3AdvancedTCPA/LitigationLitigating telemarketing calls under the TCPA, specifically dealing with the electronic consent issues, use of brokers, independent agents, and vicarious liability. Matthew McCue (Law Office Of Matthew McCue), Keith Keogh (Keogh Law)Recent case law has bolstered consumers' ability to sue telemarketers for unwanted and illegal calls, in this session you will learn litigation tips and strategies from the experts.
I4IntermediateAuto/FDCPARepossessions: FDCPA Claims, Breach of the Peace, and Big VerdictsJody Lopez-Jacobs (Flitter Milz, PC) & Andy Milz (Flitter Milz, PC) A record seven million borrowers are behind on car payments and need protection from the repo man. Learn about a wild 2019 in repo law: SCOTUS weighs in on FDCPA claims, tips for case and claims selection, and successful trial stories.
I5IntermediateEthicsEthics and Dealing With Difficult People Dan Blinn (Consumer Law Group)This session will address the ethical issues raised by dealing with difficult opposing counsel, clients, judges, and others.The session will give examples of how lawyers can get caught up in improper behavior and the consequences and will address applicable Rules of Professional Conduct and potential sanctions. The session will also give practical suggestions on how to respond that utilize skills recommended by behavioral therapists.
I6BeginnerLitigationSpotting Class Action issues in individual representation Craig Briskin (Justice Catalyst Law), Tiffany Hardy (Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC), Phillip Robinson (Consumer Law Center LLC)An essential part of consumer justice work is recognizing systemic fraud and unfairness and the remedies that are available to combat them. Lawyers who represent individuals can play a key role in identifying wrongs that affect not just their clients, but others similarly situated. This session will explore, in a variety of contexts, how to spot systemic issues and fashion effective claims, identify available resources to assist in that effort and discuss how individual and class action attorneys can work together to spot appropriate class issues.
10:00-10:15 AMCoffee Break
10:15AM-11:45AMJ1IntermediateMortgageLoan Mods Gone WrongMaryann Flanigan (Legal Services of New Jersey), Rachel Labush (Community Legal Services), & Jennifer S. Wagner (Mountain State Justice)In the post-HAMP world, many homeowners are still seeking loan modifications, with varying degrees of succss. A host of issues continue to arise out of servicers' shoddy performance at handling loss mitigation. This session will delve into legal claims and litigation strategy surrounding issues like the following: servicer fails to convert a trial mod to permanent, servicer fails to honor a permanent loan mod, servicing is transferred in the middle of the mod process, and other botched loan mod issues.
J2AdvancedFDCPA/Debt DefenseFair Debt Collection Practices Act DevelopmentsApril Kuehnhoff (National Consumer Law Center), David Philipps (Philipps & Philipps, Ltd.), & Dick Rubin (Law Office of Richard J. Rubin)This session will discuss the proposed debt collection rules, recent federal appellate court decisions, and any federal legislative developments.
J3IntermediateTCPATCPA Updates -- in the courts, at the FCC and in CongressJennifer Murray (Terrell Marshall Law Group, PLLC) & Margot Saunders (National Consumer Law Center)In the courts, at the FCCm, and in Congress, the rules for litigating TCPA cases are in flux; this session will update you on new rules and orders from the FCC, pending legislation in Congress, and the latest important court decisions.