Top tips for getting your finances on track

Monday, April 1st, 2019

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 […]

Statement of Virginia Poverty Law Center: On Governor Northam’s announcement to end automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for unpaid court debt

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

CONTACT: Christie Marra [email protected] (804) 615-8150 RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Poverty Law Center applauds Governor Northam’s amendment of the state budget to end the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for unpaid court debt. The Governor’s budget amendment is the final step in a multi-year advocacy effort led by Senator Bill Stanley and the Legal Aid […]

More Virginia students have access to breakfast, according to 2019 School Breakfast Report

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

For students who come from food insecure households, school breakfast can be the first meal after hours or even an entire weekend without food. School meals are vitally important to communities with high levels of poverty and insecurity. In our 2019 annual school breakfast report, we’ve outlined how each federal nutrition program works, the participation […]

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

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

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 […]

Why Governor Northam’s recent veto of health care bills is a good thing

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

This month, Governor Northam vetoed several bills relating to short-term limited duration and catastrophic health plans. Expanding availability of these plans would likely cause higher premiums in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace due to healthy individuals being drawn to skimpy or high deductible plans and leaving a sicker, higher cost group in the marketplace […]

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

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

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 […]

Why Increasing TANF Matters

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded, cash assistance program that had a $136 million surplus at the end of FY 2018. A proposed budget amendment in the Virginia Senate would use a very small portion of that surplus to increase TANF benefits for families by five percent and would address several […]

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

Monday, February 18th, 2019

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 […]

Keep New Funding for Adult Protective Services

Friday, February 15th, 2019

Oppose Budget Amendment Item 334 #1s Item 334 #1s removes $100,000 from the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Adult Protective Services budget. Without this funding, Adult Protective Services (APS) will not be able to increase staffing in its statewide office. The statewide office provides direct support to local department of social services’ APS […]

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

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

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 […]

The Costly Price of Long-Term Care

Friday, February 8th, 2019

With our population aging and living longer, long-term care is growing increasingly more expensive—and the prices are staggering. A private room in a nursing home now costs consumers more than $8,000 per month, or $97,455 per year, according to The Genworth Cost of Care Survey.  A semi-private room is less expensive but still carries a […]

Crossover Report | 2019 General Assembly

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

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 […]

Remembering Lillie A. Estes

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Our hearts are heavy with the news of Lillie A. Estes’ passing. We at VPLC send our condolences to Lillie A.’s family, and we mourn the loss of a remarkable leader. Lillie A. was a dedicated VPLC board member for more years than we can remember. She played an integral role in VPLC’s Advocates for […]

VPLC Receives $90,000 Cy Pres Award from Class Action Settlement Against Predatory Internet Lenders

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Early this year, VPLC received a generous cy pres award—a distribution of money from a class action settlement to a nonprofit organization—from a class action lawsuit handled by Kelly & Crandall, PLC against internet lenders in Virginia. About Cy Pres When a class action lawsuit settles, it’s possible that not all of the money will […]

It’s Time to Regulate the Companies That Service Our Student Loans

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Student loans make up the nation’s second largest consumer debt market. Over one million Virginians owe $39 billion in student loan debt. Most student loan borrowers have a servicer assigned to their loan. Servicers are a critical link between borrowers and lenders. They manage borrowers’ accounts, process monthly payments, and communicate directly with borrowers. When […]

Supporting Changes to Improve Foster Care for Virginia’s Children

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Learn more about the suite of bills being introduced during the 2019 legislative session that intend to improve foster care for Virginia’s children below. SB 1339 (Reeves) | Foster Care Omnibus. Incorporates many of the suggestions of the JLARC report, including support and supervision of local child welfare agencies. HB 1728/SB 1139 (Reid, Favola) |  […]

What are Forced Arbitration Clauses? And Why are VA Legislators Concerned About Their Use?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Many companies tuck forced arbitration clauses into their terms and conditions. They are in hundreds of millions of consumers contracts: car loans, credit cards, checking accounts, insurance, investing accounts, student loans, and even certain employment and nursing home agreements.  You can be legally bound to forced arbitration by signing a contract or clicking “I agree” […]

Internet Lenders Want to Pick the Law that Applies to Their Loans in VA

Monday, January 21st, 2019

If you live in Virginia and get a loan over the internet, Virginia law applies to that loan. Right? Not quite. Many internet lenders don’t follow Virginia law though they are conducting business in the state.  These lenders put into their lengthy contracts that Utah law or the laws of the “Lac Courte Oreilles Band […]

Removing Barriers to SNAP for Drug Felons

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

HB 1891 will repeal the ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for drug felons who have served their sentences. Under current law, justice is denied to drug felons who have served their sentences but are permanently banned from accessing public benefits. Statistically, most drug felons are from low income households and struggle to […]

Helping Virginia Families by Reducing Wrongful Evictions

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Virginia’s Eviction Crisis In the Spring of 2018, a study on nationwide eviction rates revealed that five of the top 10 eviction rates for cities larger than 100,000 and a number of medium and small sized cities were in Virginia. More recent data from local sheriff’s offices and the Virginia Supreme Court further underscores the […]

VPLC Supports Legislation Protecting Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors Who Report Abuse

Friday, January 11th, 2019

To intimidate their victims and deter them from seeking help or court protection, abusers sometimes use the justice system as a weapon by filing lawsuits alleging defamation and other wrongdoing by the victims. Such lawsuits are called “strategic lawsuits against public participation”— or SLAPP suits — and are filed because the abuser believes that the […]