CJP helps low-income consumers protect themselves from abusive practices by lenders, banks, debt collectors, and others.
Some recent advocacy includes:
Debtors’ protection from debt collectors
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and a similar state law in Pennsylvania protect people from many of the misrepresentations and other unfair practices used by individuals and corporations that collect debts owed to others.
Hrobuchak v. Federal Insurance (M.D. Pa.).
Shouse v. NCG et al. (M.D. Pa.).
Rights of Homeowners who owe taxes and water and sewer bills
A person’s home cannot be sold at tax sale for back taxes without due process of law that includes the opportunity to object to the amount owed and that follows all procedures required by law. In addition, state law limits the interest and penalties that may be added to the taxes and municipal water and sewer bills owed by homeowners who do not pay on time.
Houck v. Capital Asset/Foley v. Pittsburgh (W.D. Pa., 3d Cir.).
Foley et al. v City and School District (C.P. Allegheny Co.).
Fight back against Mandatory Arbitration
Mandatory arbitration of claims are now used by businesses and employers to limit their customers’ and employees’ access to courts when they need to bring or defend claims. These arbitration clauses may be attacked in court on some procedural and substantive grounds.
Bank One v. Gregory Mitchell et al., No. 724 WDA 2005 (Pa. Super. 2006).
Rights of low income consumers of utilities
Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Code and the Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act require that there be affirmative public benefits when one utility proposes to acquire another.
In re Joint application of Equitable Resources, Inc. and The Peoples Natural Gas Company, No. A-122250F5000 (Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission).