PRESS RELEASE: Class action settlement provides $489 million in relief to victims of illegal internet payday lenders

After three years of extensive litigation, the settlement will provide relief to approximately 555,000 consumers who were subject to illegal practices by internet payday lenders. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2022   Richmond, VA – The federal court in Richmond today gave preliminary approval of a class action settlement that will provide $489 million of relief to […]

PRESS RELEASE: Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center on Gubernatorial Vetoes of HB573 and SB297 (Medical Debt Reform)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2022 Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center state that Governor Youngkin’s vetoes of Del. Clark’s HB573 and Sen. Deeds’ SB297 have derailed critical, popular, and thoughtfully crafted bipartisan consumer debt reforms for thousands upon thousands of Virginians. Richmond, VA – Outstanding bills for medical treatment are one […]

2022 Session Update: Week Two

This was a busy week at the General Assembly for VPLC advocates. We often must try and follow bills being heard in two or even three committees that meet at the same time! Please encourage your legislators to do the right thing and publicly praise them when they do. Below, an update on some of our issues […]

2022 Session Update: New Leadership, Same Mission

The 2022 General Assembly is off and running, with 1,938 House and Senate bills filed — and more expected to come. Our advocates are dealing with a lot of change this year: a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members in the House of Delegates, and committee chairs. But among the change, one thing remains […]

How Upfront Fees Make Rental Housing Unaffordable

An update from VPLC’s Director of Housing Advocacy, Christie Marra The NY Times Article outing Virginia as home to the top evictors in the nation, the nationwide eviction moratorium early in the pandemic, and the news articles about our country’s affordable housing crisis have put making safe and healthy housing for all at or near […]

Celebrating National Energy Efficiency Day – and Continuing the Work to Rebuild Virginia’s Energy Landscape into a Balanced and Equitable System

October 6 is National Energy Efficiency Day. Today’s post comes from VPLC’s Director of Outreach and Consumer Advocacy, Dana Wiggins and Affordable Clean Energy Project Coordinator, Carmen Bingham. Energy Efficiency and the Affordable Clean Energy Project Energy efficiency is the least cost resource for energy, because the least expensive kilowatt hour is the one you […]

Update on Eviction Protections in Virginia

A year and a half into the pandemic, laws around tenants’ right continue to change at a rapid pace. Here’s a quick update on what you need to know about eviction protections and important resources that can help those struggling to stay safely housed. CDC Eviction Protections Have Ended Last week the US Supreme Court […]

2021 Special Session Recap: How VPLC’s Budget Priorities Fared

When the General Assembly convened for a special 2021 session, we urged lawmakers to prioritize Virginians hit hardest by the pandemic with a budget focused on equity. Not all of our priorities were funded, but we will continue to push for these in the state’s next budget. Below, here’s how our recommended budget priorities fared […]

Equitable Rescue & Recovery: VPLC Special Session Budget Priorities

The Virginia General Assembly will convene in Richmond on Monday, August 2 for a special legislative session to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding and fill judicial vacancies. The remaining $4.3 billion comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which has provided essential relief to millions of American workers – many of […]

PRESS RELEASE: New anti-poverty laws take effect in Virginia today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 The suite of new laws will protect tenants, help families with food assistance, expand health coverage, protect consumers, and more. Richmond, VA – Effective today, several new laws in the Commonwealth will benefit hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. The new laws include better protections for tenants, expansion of […]

New Housing Laws Take Effect Today

Big changes in housing law are taking effect in Virginia, with many temporary eviction protections expiring soon and new housing laws that passed during the 2021 legislative session going into effect today. Read below to learn more about the major updates. EVICTION PROTECTIONS   Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium extended to July 31, 2021: The CDC Eviction […]

PRESS RELEASE: Judge Orders VEC to Fix Issues at Agency

Judge Orders Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) to End Unemployment Insurance Backlog and Fix Issues at the Agency    Legal Aid groups and their Pro Bono Partners will monitor the VEC’s progress to ensure Virginians who have been struggling, often for months, get access to the relief they are owed    Richmond, VA – Today, Judge Henry […]

Housing Advocacy Session Update: Week Three

Welcome to the third week of the 2021 legislative session. We have bills up this week that need your support! Dear fellow housing advocates, The 2021 Virginia legislative session is in its third week now. We have made great progress on tenants’ rights in this short session and have more to go! With the help […]

Housing Advocacy Session Update: Week Two

Welcome to the second week of the 2021 legislative session. We have bills up this week that need your support! Dear fellow housing advocates, Welcome to the second week of the 2021 legislative session! Thank you to everyone who signed up and spoke in support of tenants’ rights legislation last week. We are happy to […]

Update from the Executive Director: Continuing the Fight for Economic Justice for All

The Virginia General Assembly is off and running. This is the 402nd year the General Assembly has met, and it promises to be like no other thanks to the continuing pandemic. The House of Delegates is meeting virtually, and the Virginia Senate is meeting both in-person and virtually. As always, VPLC has an important legislative […]

Update from VPLC’s Housing Advocacy Team: Support Tenants’ Rights During 2021 Session

2021 legislative session starts today. Join us in supporting policies that improve rights and opportunities for tenants. Dear fellow housing advocates, It’s the first day of the 2021 legislative session, and we’re excited to continue our advocacy to defend, preserve, and enhance opportunities for low-income Virginians! We hope you will join us this session in support […]

Volunteers Needed for Eviction Legal Helpline

Research shows that eviction is a significant cause, not just a result, of poverty. And Virginia is suffering an eviction crisis among the worst in the nation. But no one should be forced from their home and have their life turned upside down simply because they don’t know their rights. Easy access to reliable legal information […]

Car Title Lenders: Driving Borrowers into a Cycle of Debt

No one should profit from trapping and feeding on families through predatory lending. But that’s exactly what predatory lenders do. Car title lenders provide loans that allow borrowers to use their vehicle title as collateral. The average interest rate charged by car title lenders is 216%, and if a borrower can’t afford a payment, car […]

E-loan sharking: the latest loan shark tactic used to evade Virginia law

Loan sharks—payday lenders that catch borrowers in debt traps by offering small loans at high interest rates—have learned to survive despite attempted regulation by taking on a new disguise: e-loan sharking. E-loan sharking refers to massive, interstate internet-based payday lending. These operations are illegal in Virginia but have evolved to survive, working around state laws […]

Virginia candidates are raising money—but where is it coming from?

Recently, several stories surfaced about how much candidates are raising, but little is said about where the money is coming from—and that is important. Tracking a politician’s funding sources may reveal which donor is trying to exert influence over a candidate. Payday, car title, and internet lenders, large national companies that make loans at 200% […]

Eviction Spotlight: Vietnam War vet faces eviction over PTSD-triggered confrontation with property manager

At VPLC, we witness many landlords taking advantage of low-income Virginians through our Eviction Legal Helpline. The Eviction Spotlight series seeks to shed light on these stories. Mr. Bell,* a longtime resident of Richmond, is a resourceful Vietnam war veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other ailments from his service in combat. […]

Read more