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.

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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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)

"Hot Coffee" Premiers on HBO, June 27, 9pm

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HBO will be airing an important documentary film about tort reform and its threat to the civil justice system called “Hot Coffee” on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 9pm.  The documentary follows four people, including the infamous McDonald’s Hot coffee lawsuit plaintiff Stella Liebeck, whose lives have been affected by their inability to access the courts, and how caps on damages hurt them.  The film also examines the role of corporations and a complicit media in promoting tort reform.  “Hot Coffee” was a selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.  Watch a trailer of the documentary here, and for a review of the movie, click here.

Civil Justice Holds First Training for Creditor Abuse Prevention Project

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
On Friday, May 20, 2011, Civil Justice held the first attorney training in its new Creditor Abuse Prevention Project (CAPP). Over 30 attorneys attended the full-day training to learn more about bringing creditor abuse claims in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.  Attorneys were given the option of taking the training for free if they agreed to take pro bono cases as part of CAPP. The morning session of the training focused on three main areas of creditor abuse in bankruptcy. Laura Margulies, of Laura Margulies & Associates (http://www.law-margulies.com), explained the process for filing proofs of claim in bankruptcy and identified common problems that arise in the claims filed by creditors. She also presented sample objections based on common creditor abuses. Professor Peter Holland of the University of Maryland School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic (http://www.law.umaryland.edu), briefly discussed common debt collection violations... Read More » Comments (0)
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