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 […]

VPLC Pushes CFPB to Keep Consumer Protection Rules in Place for Lenders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2019 CONTACT: Dana Wiggins, VPLC Director of Outreach and Consumer Advocacy, [email protected] Monica Lauw, VPLC Communications Manager, [email protected] VIRGINIA COALITION PUSHES CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU TO KEEP CONSUMER PROTECTION RULES IN PLACE FOR LENDERS “I took out my first loan around three years ago when my husband got sick and […]

New Coalition Launches to Reform Virginia Energy Policy

For Immediate Release New Coalition Launches to Reform Virginia Energy Policy Lower prices, ratepayer choice, and clean energy unite Virginia Energy Reform Coalition MEDIA CONTACT Cassady Craighill, 828-817-3328, [email protected] Cat McCue, 434-953-8672, [email protected] Peter Vicenzi, (202) 942-7621, [email protected]   Richmond, May 7, 2019 – Nine organizations representing a wide range of public policy ideologies introduced […]

VPLC’s 2019 Legislative Review

With another General Assembly session behind us and the dust settled after this month’s veto session, here is a review of what occurred during the 2019 legislative session. This year brought several wins—foster care reform, fairer laws for tenants in the wake of a report detailing Virginia’s high eviction rates, and the end of driver’s […]

Top tips for getting your finances on track

April is National Financial Literacy Month, a perfect time to get—and keep—your finances in order. Here are a few tips to get you started. Create a budget. Assessing how much money you bring in and how much you spend is the first step toward gaining control of your finances. This is an opportunity to be […]

Don’t let payday lenders gut consumer protections from predatory loans

In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a rule to end predatory loan practices, putting “a stop to the payday debt traps that have plagued communities across the country,” according to former CFPB Director Richard Cordray. The original rule requires lenders to assess a borrower’s ability to repay a loan to prevent consumers […]

Dominion promised $870 million for energy conservation. Now it’s walking back its commitment.

Earlier this year, Dominion Energy committed to $870 million in proposed energy efficiency programs as part of their 2018 Grid Transformation and Securitization Act (GTSA). Stakeholders and Dominion representatives agreed that the company would develop and implement effective energy efficiency measures to help lower consumer bills and reduce demand on the overall system. Now, Dominion […]

Legislators Choose E-Loan Sharks Over Their Constituents and Legitimate Virginia Lenders

This year, VPLC teamed up with Virginia Consumer Finance Companies and the Attorney General of Virginia to support legislation introduced by Senators Surovell and Saslaw and Delegate Yancey to impose restrictions on loans made by out-of-state lenders to Virginians. Unfortunately, these bills were rejected, and some legislators that voted for this legislation last year switched […]

The economy is doing great. So why doesn’t it feel like it?

The media have been arguing about who should get credit for the “booming” economy: Trump or Obama. But if the economy is “booming,” then: Why are so many people living paycheck to paycheck?—78% of workers according to a recent report. Why are seven million Americans three months behind on their car payments?  How do you […]

Crossover Report | 2019 General Assembly

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, was “Crossover Day” in the General Assembly—the last day for bills to be heard in the Senate or House of Delegates before crossing over to the other chamber for review. Check out our 2019 Crossover Report to learn more about the bills we support, oppose, and monitor. Take Action! We need your help […]

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