Welcome to the Civil Justice Blog

Welcome to the Civil Justice Blog.  The blog highlights current Maryland and/or federal law dealing with such topics as foreclosures, consumer rights, auto-fraud, and other related public interest issues.

Beware of the "Friendly" Used Car Dealer

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Civil Justice frequently receives calls from individuals who are facing a lawsuit for thousands of dollars because they bought a used car that was eventually repossessed.  Like most of us, the individuals purchased cars because they needed a way to get to work or school and safe transportation for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the cars that the consumers purchase are overpriced, often need significant and costly repairs, and the car loans usually have high interest rates, excessive fees, and payments they cannot afford.  Read More » Comments (0)

Tax Sale Foreclosures in Maryland

By Civil Justice on Thursday, June 23, 2016
Secondary foreclosure-related matters such as tax sale foreclosure are a growing problem for Marylanders as homeowners slowly recover from financial challenges such
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The Tom Brady Case Shows the Unfairness of Forced Arbitration

By Civil Justice on Thursday, April 28, 2016
Even if you are Tom Brady, and even if you and your team of some of the best lawyers in America already convinced a federal district court judge that the arbitration conducted by your employer was extremely unfair, you still cannot overcome the massive hurdle necessary to convince a court to overrule a flawed arbitration ruling. Read More » Comments (0)

Foreclosures in 2016: Emerging Legal Trends for Maryland Homeowners

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, March 15, 2016
With Maryland remaining among the top five states in the rate of foreclosures, it is worthwhile to assess emerging foreclosure-related trends that may affect Marylanders in the future. Read More » Comments (0)

Watch Out for Student Loan “Debt Relief” Scams

By Civil Justice on Thursday, October 29, 2015

If you’re a student loan borrower, you’ve probably noticed advertisements on the television, radio, or internet for student loan “debt relief” services. You may have even received direct solicitations by phone or mail. 

Many of these companies appeal to struggling borrowers by claiming a special ability to negotiate with lenders and servicers to get a better deal. Too often, borrowers learn the hard way that the companies’ promises are false or the deal is not as good as they thought. 

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Working for Justice - One Person at a Time

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, September 1, 2015
In the aftermath of the unrest in Baltimore and around the country, we pause to think about the critical need for the legal services provided by non-profit organizations like Civil Justice and by private attorneys who work to achieve fairness and equality for low and moderate income individuals and families. While the protests centered on the police and the treatment of certain communities by the police, underlying the unrest is the strong current of poverty, lack of opportunity and unfairness. Life truly is more difficult for the poor and the nearly poor, for those living in impoverished communities, without access to good schools, healthcare and transportation, and for those living paycheck to paycheck, with no support system in the event of a personal or family crisis. Those who work with low income individuals and families know that the climb out of poverty is difficult with many almost insurmountable obstacles. We see this every day in the stories of the people who contact Civil Justice for assistance.... Read More » Comments (0)

Foreclosures in 2015: A View from the Ground in Maryland

By Civil Justice Network on 2/9/2015 10:02 AM

As the national economy recovers, the foreclosure crisis may recede from view, but in Maryland, which recorded the third highest rate of foreclosure in the country in 2014, residents will continue to face the heavy burden of the mortgage crisis in the years ahead.

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Forced Arbitration

By Civil Justice Network on 1/14/2015 2:40 PM
Forced arbitration is a term for a contract provision (almost always buried in the fine print) that requires that disputes between the parties be resolved by an “arbitrator,” rather than courts and juries.   Their decisions are binding on the parties and are almost entirely unchallengeable, meaning that even if you can show that the arbitrator clearly made the wrong decision, no one can do anything about it.  In contrast, if a judge makes a mistake at trial, a party can appeal the outcome of the trial to a higher court.  The “forced” part of “forced arbitration” comes from the fact that companies include arbitration provisions in their contracts with consumers, buried in the fine print, that require the consumers to agree to arbitrate a wide variety of issues that may come up in the future between the consumer and the company.   Read More » Comments (0)

Financing College Education: Beware of Student Loan Debt Sticker Shock

By Civil Justice Network on 12/15/2014 1:54 PM
Applying to college can be exciting, but also presents a variety of challenges. For many Marylanders, financing the cost of a college education is the most significant among these. Fortunately, there are great tools available online to help students understand and plan for the cost of college. Here are some basic tips for navigating the sea of financial decisions associated with higher education and avoiding the student loan debt sticker shock that many recent graduates face. 1) Understand the Total Cost of Attendance Affordability is a key consideration in deciding what college to attend and what degree to pursue. However, the total cost of attendance can be a very tricky figure to nail down. A common misconception is that tuition alone is the cost of attendance. Generally, the total cost of attendance is defined as the sum of the school’s full tuition, room and board for the academic year (sometimes called the living expense), books, and all administrative fees. The total cost of attendance can vary widely... Read More » Comments (0)

Foreclosure Recovery: Helping Homeowners Get Back on Track

By Civil Justice on Monday, April 28, 2014
Recovery is a concept that evokes diverse emotions. Feelings of triumph or hopefulness may arise from resolving, or “getting to the other side of,” a life challenge. Nonetheless, recovery also implies survival from an unpleasant experience—potentially one we never wanted to endure. Recovery requires healing, renewal, and forward motion. In order to recover, one must acknowledge that life has changed: a potentially mournful realization that necessitates adaptation to current circumstances, as well as responsiveness to underlying scars. Just as with recovery in general, foreclosure recovery provides opportunities to re-engage life situations with new and wellness-enhancing orientations. The aftermath of a foreclosure event can result in varied legal and financial consequences, regardless of whether one has successfully obtained a permanent modification or lost the home. Issues such as depleted savings accounts and difficulties securing a rental property may appear as immediate challenges; whereas, consequences... Read More » Comments (0)
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