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Co-author Bart Stichman discusses harmful debt collection legislation

This week, the House Financial Services Committee will vote on whether to open the floodgates to abusive litigation conduct by debt collection attorneys and debt buyers who work in their name. The Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act would unwind a bedrock protection for the 77 million Americans with debts in collection, including struggling families, elders, servicemembers and veterans. Debt collection is a multibillion dollar industry that consistently generates the most consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Servicemembers and veterans are especially impacted by abusive debt collection activities, which were the subject of 42 percent of all complaints to the CFPB from military consumers. Why would Congress want to limit consumer protections against an industry that is clearly among the most abusive of consumers? [more]

Released 2/2/18 | Tags: Congressional Legislation

Testimony: Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

Testimony of NVLSP

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act provide a far-reaching restructuring of the VA administrative appeals process. It contains many positive features that are likely to decrease appeal times, while providing claimants with various options for pursuing their appeals. As with any substantial change to a complex system, there will clearly be effects that we cannot now predict. But given that the current appeals process is not functioning well, we have ultimately concluded that the proposed legislation - even without being able to predict all of its effects - is a necessary step. However, NVLSP opposes some of the substantive changes to the draft bill that VA is seeking under the guise of "technical amendments." [more]

Released 4/28/17 | Tags: Board of Veterans Appeals, Congressional Legislation

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More than 133,000 vets may qualify for this tax refund windfall

Released 2/1/18 at Military Times | Tags: Congressional Legislation

More than 133,000 veterans may qualify for a refund of federal taxes they paid on disability severance pay dating back to 1991 ― taxes that shouldn’t have been collected in the first place. These refunds, which are the result of a law passed in 2016, apply to veterans who received this pay dating back to Jan. 17, 1991, with taxes withheld, and who also qualified for disability from the Veterans Affairs Department. President Obama signed into law legislation supported by the National Veterans Legal Services Program, to ensure that veterans who suffer service-ending combat-related injuries are not taxed on the severance payment they receive from the Department of Defense. [more]

Co-author Bart Stichman discusses harmful debt collection legislation

Released 1/30/18 at The Hill | Tags: Congressional Legislation

This week, the House Financial Services Committee will vote on whether to open the floodgates to abusive litigation conduct by debt collection attorneys and debt buyers who work in their name. The Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act would unwind a bedrock protection for the 77 million Americans with debts in collection, including struggling families, elders, servicemembers and veterans. Debt collection is a multibillion dollar industry that consistently generates the most consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Servicemembers and veterans are especially impacted by abusive debt collection activities, which were the subject of 42 percent of all complaints to the CFPB from military consumers. Why would Congress want to limit consumer protections against an industry that is clearly among the most abusive of consumers? [more]

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