Login

Consumer

HelpHub: Technology to Build a Community for Affirmative Advocacy

By Stephanie Altman, Stephani Becker & Basel Musharbash

HelpHub, a crowdsourced website for frontline enrollment specialists in Illinois, offers expertise and feedback on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s implementation. Experts respond to information requests, elevate cases to government partners, and monitor for policy shortcomings. A forum for state and federal advocacy, HelpHub is a model for affirmative advocacy in the Act’s ongoing implementation.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

Health Care Scams on Immigrants in the Age of the Affordable Care Act

By Daniel Seokhwan Choi

Scams against immigrants are nothing new. But the Affordable Care Act has given scammers a new venue for their old tricks. Confusion around the new law and immigration status leaves many immigrants vulnerable to scams. Language and cultural barriers raise the difficulty of consumer education and outreach to immigrant communities. Immigrant and health care advocates should take pains to educate their clients about and be on the lookout for health care scams.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

Consumer Resources for Clients with Limited Literacy

By Jennifer Leach, Deborah Kennedy & Miriam Burt

The Federal Trade Commission collaborates with legal aid programs to make consumer education materials accessible to clients who have low literacy levels or are English language learners. Legal aid attorneys were essential in the creation of Consumer.gov and Consumidor.gov—parallel English and Spanish websites that help low-income consumers understand their rights and how to protect themselves. The content of the websites is shaped by research on using simple language, design elements, and graphics to enhance comprehension by users with low levels of English literacy.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

Pay Me How? What You Should Know About Payroll Cards

By Suzanne Martindale & Christina Tetreault

Employers of part-time or seasonal workers, or those without bank accounts, may use payroll cards to pay wages. Payroll cards are increasing in popularity as the use of traditional banking services, such as checking accounts, decreases. Advocates should know the benefits and risks of using the cards, applicable state and federal laws, including the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E, and strategies for helping workers with payroll-card problems.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

The Verdict Is in: Payday Lending Is Guilty as Charged

By Ron Elwood

The payday loan is symptomatic of the failure to provide access to reasonably priced credit. By understanding the fallacies in the arguments used to justify payday loans, advocates can help reform laws so that payday-loan borrowers do not fall into a debt trap. Advocates and policymakers might also set the stage for a new system that offers short-term, small-amount credit at reasonable terms.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

Issues in Car Financing: Interest Rate Markups and Yo-Yo Scams

By Christopher Kukla

The complexity of car purchases combined with changing dealer incentives has created an environment ripe for consumer abuses such as interest rate markups and yo-yo scams. Regulators can help low-income consumers by prohibiting dealer compensation based on the interest rate and by setting rules on conditional delivery. Advocates can help vulnerable consumers by learning about the issues surrounding dealer scams and from attorneys most familiar with this area of law.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

About This Issue

By Ilze Sprudzs Hirsh

In this theme issue on consumer law, articles discuss a selection of consumer-rights problems of significance to low-income workers and suggest preventive practices and remedies for violations of applicable law.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

Stolen Future: Foster Youth Identity Theft

By Lisa Weintraub Schifferle & Maria Del Monaco

Over 26,000 children in the foster care system turn 18 every year. A foster child's credit damaged by identity theft creates a major obstacle to financial stability and independence. The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 requires that each foster child, from age 16 until emancipation, receive a free credit report each year and assistance in correcting inaccuracies.  Working with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its resources, advocates can help repair foster youth credit. Using the Fair Credit Reporting Act or partnering with child welfare agencies may work. The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and FTC partner to assist teenagers who are aging out of the foster care system.

Download this article   |  Read more ➢

Contracts for Deed: Charting Risks and New Paths for Advocacy

By Heather K. Way & Lucy Wood

The foreclosure crisis has not dislodged homeownership from its central place in the American dream.

Download this article

About This Issue

By Ilze Sprudzs Hirsh

Clearinghouse Review's last printed issue taps as always the expertise of advocates nationwide for their analyses and solu

Download this article