Class Actions Provide Better Access to Justice

Vote YES on House Bill 418 (Simon) The Virginia General Assembly passes laws to properly regulate marketplaces and protect individuals but many times those laws are not effectively enforced because government agencies may lack the necessary resources. Virginia and Mississippi are the only states in the country that do not allow class action lawsuits. Virginians […]

VPLC on Pod Virginia: Fighting Predatory Landlords, Lenders, and Realtors

VPLC’s Jay Speer and Christie Marra appeared on Pod Virginia this week to discuss VPLC’s legislative agenda and advocacy around ending junk fees and protecting renters. Listen below or on Apple Podcasts:

Stop the Spread of Junk Fees

Protect Virginia Consumers: Vote YES on SB 388 (Pekarsky) Members of the Senate General Laws Committee will discuss SB 388 on Wednesday, 1.31.2024. See lawmaker contact information below.  This bill requires the disclosure of all mandatory fees and charges included in the advertised and displayed price of any good or service. This would create a […]

People are struggling but workplace payday loans are not the answer.

People are struggling to pay their rent, utilities, and buy food.  We see it everywhere.  Lack of affordable housing, lack of access to medical care, utility shutoffs.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is not doing enough to help people.  Into that gap come those that will exploit desperation– payday lenders, get rich quick con men and […]

Exploitative Lenders Fight Back Against Fair, Transparent & Competitive Loans

Why are the payday lenders trying to destroy the CFPB? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly. The CFPB was created in the wake of the 2008 recession when reckless financial practices by banks and other financial institutions nearly […]

Recognize the Signs of a Scam and Avoid Becoming a Victim.

It seems like scams are everywhere and sometimes it feels like there’s no way to avoid being taken advantage of by heartless scammers. Don’t worry – we’ve put together the top red flags to look for and things you can do to avoid being the victim of a scam! Scammers will often pretend to be […]

Important News for SNAP Recipients Grant Aims to Improve Access to Justice

VPLC is the recipient of a $32,500 grant from the Virginia Law Foundation. Funds will be used to host the 2022 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference. The education and training event is known as one of the best civil poverty-law conferences in the U.S. VLF grants awarded to two dozen organizations increase access to legal […]

Final Settlement in Class Action Suit Pays Hundreds of Millions from Illegal Internet Lending Schemes

Gibbs v. Elevate, Gibbs v. Stinson, Brice v. Stinson The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia this week approved a settlement in the last of nine class action lawsuits against entities that sought to evade state and federal law by making extremely high-interest internet loans in Virginia and other states. The August […]

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 […]

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 […]

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% […]

New landlord-tenant laws, foster care reform, and restored driver’s licenses: new Virginia laws take effect July 1

Today, hundreds of new laws that passed during this year’s General Assembly go into effect, from new landlord-tenant laws to foster care reform. Here are a few to note. Other New Laws Related to VPLC Focus Areas Medicaid and Mental Health: An adopted budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid primary care physicians and licensed mental health […]

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