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 […]

VPLC Supports Legislation Regulating Line of Credit and Open-end Credit Lenders

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Virginia law regulates payday and car title lenders by allowing them to charge extremely high interest rates in exchange for requiring them to be licensed and putting some restrictions on their business practices. Many storefront payday lenders have switched to open-end or line of credit loans to avoid any regulation. Many internet lenders are also […]

Stop Internet Lenders From Destroying Our Consumer Finance Companies: Vote Yes on SB 1548

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

SB 1548 comes out of a study of the Consumer Finance Act by the Bureau of Financial Institutions.  The study was in response to legislation to allow internet lending under the Virginia Consumer Finance Act. The Virginia Financial Services Association (an association of Virginia consumer finance companies), the Attorney General’s Office and VPLC have agreed […]

Meet the VPLC Advocacy Staff

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

View our “Guide To VPLC ” to see our legislative advocacy team and their main issues.

VPLC 2019 Legislative Priorities

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

2019 General Assembly Session Begins January 9th Check out the VPLC 2019 Legislative Agenda! Housing | Consumer | Utility Fairness Evictions Suite of Legislation: Reciprocity of Attorney’s fees Increase the time tenants have to “pay to stay” Limit to filing only one case at a time against a tenant who is behind on rent Prohibit […]

Monday, November 26th, 2018

My Summer with the LA VIDA Program

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

One of our Summer of 2018 interns, Katie Cantone, wrote the following about her experience with our LA VIDA program.  Thank you, Katie!   I am a Spanish major at the University of Virginia, where I’m now entering my third year. Through my studies, I’ve felt pulled toward a career in social justice and have […]

Register for the 2018 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

We are inviting you this year to the lively city of Norfolk, Virginia for the 2018 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference! This educational conference is hosted by Virginia Poverty Law Center and Virginia’s legal aid programs. This year’s event has plenty of CLE offerings for attorneys and other legal aid professionals, including non-CLE sessions for […]

40 Faces, 40 Years – A Celebration

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Thank You! To everyone who joined us and made our 40th Celebration event and photography exhibit possible! This year, VPLC celebrated 40 years of serving low-income Virginians and the quest to ensure equal access to justice. Virginia Poverty Law Center: 40 Faces, 40 Years is a photography event featuring forty Virginians who qualify for legal aid […]

Thank you Boleman Law Firm

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

We are honored that the Boleman Law Firm, PC is partnering with us as our 40th Anniversary presenting sponsor. The Boleman Law Firm makes this support in recognition of VPLC’s 40 years of advocacy on behalf of low-income Virginians and in honor of all of those working for equal justice at Virginia’s legal aid programs. Thank you Boleman […]

Electricity Burden and the Myth of Virginia’s Rate Utopia

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

The Affordable Clean Energy Project (ACEP) of Virginia Poverty Law Center has a new interactive map that provides a visual representation of Virginia’s households electricity burden, further dispelling the myth of Virginia’s “rate utopia.” On average Virginia households experience an already higher than average electricity burden of 3.1%, compared to a national average of 2.7%. “Electricity […]

Payday lending by any other name still stinks

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

“A rose by another name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet). Or in the case of predatory lending:  Payday lending by any other name still stinks. Because too many people have learned about the stink of payday lending, the lenders have had to change their products and claim they no longer do that.  But […]

Family Reunification Month: VPLC works on policies to keep families together

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Following on the heels of National Foster Care Month, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared June to be Family Reunification Month. This is important, because Virginia’s rate of reunification after a child has been removed from a family and placed in foster care is only 30%: considerably lower than the national average of 50%. While […]