Click here for information specific to the Coronavirus, including current clinic operations and information around student loans and stimulus payments.
The Consumer Justice & General Clinic provides brief services to low-income consumers facing a wide variety of issues, including including but not limited to: debt collection, student loans, credit reporting, predatory lending, identity theft, and consumer scams.
Attorneys and advocates may provide the following types of assistance:
- Educating consumers about their rights and options for debt they cannot pay.
- Financial assessments to help consumers develop strategies for prioritizing and resolving debts.
- Defending consumers from debt-collection activities, including lawsuits.
- Protecting consumers’ assets by contesting wage garnishments, bank levies, and other creditor liens.
- Educating consumers through materials and outreach about deceptive, unfair, illegal, and/or predatory consumer programs and practices.
- Assisting low-income homeowners, including those defrauded by home improvement or PACE financing. More information here.
- Assisting borrowers to discharge their federal student loans, bring them out of default, or enter into a more affordable repayments agreement.
- Defending consumers in disputes regarding repayment of private student loans.
- Correcting credit-reporting errors.
- Assisting victims of identity theft.
- Defending against and litigating unlawful conduct by predatory businesses and operations that target immigrant communities.
- Reducing barriers to housing (i.e., bad credit keeping you out of housing).
- Assisting with storage unit disputes.
- Providing support for consumers whose cars have been towed.
Am I eligible for these services?
For consumers, free legal services are provided to individuals who:
- Resides in Alameda County
- Fall within our household income guidelines.
* The East Bay Community Law Center provides free legal services to eligible East Bay clients. Specific service criteria vary by subject matter and change over time, so please contact the office with any specific questions.
** EBCLC cannot provide legal information or advice via email. Please contact us during regular intake hours to determine eligibility for services.
*** These amounts are 30% of the current Alameda County Area Median Income established by HUD.
How do I receive these services?
The Consumer Justice Clinic is currently closed for new clients and we will not be returning any calls. They will reopen on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
If you need legal assistance with your consumer related issue prior to January 19th, please contact:
- Bay Area Legal Aid: 800-551-5554
- Housing and Economic Rights Advocates: 510-271-8443
- The Alameda County Bar Association and ask about their Community Legal Assistance Saturday Program: 510-302-2222.
Call us at (510) 548-4040 ext. 388 or complete our online Consumer Justice Clinic Intake Form for information and appointment eligibility.
Please note – the majority of our services are provided by law students and other advocates under the supervision of attorneys.
Llámenos al (510) 548-4040 ext. 3850 entregue la forma de evaluación web para información y elegibilidad para citas.
Por favor nota – la mayoría de nuestros servicios son proporcionados por estudiantes de derecho y otros ayudantes bajo la supervisión de abogados.
Additional Information and Resources:
Free Credit Reports!
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are now offering free weekly online reports through April 2021 at: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
The Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice has published a special series on common consumer issues and COVID-19:
April 24, 2020
Issue III: Economic Impact Payments (“Stimulus Checks”) & COVID-19
April 28, 2020
Issue IV: Auto Insurance & COVID-19
May 1, 2020
Issue V: Scams and COVID-19
May 7, 2020
New Relief for Federal Student Loans:
- Loan payments are automatically suspended through September 30, 2020. The suspended payment months will still count towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
- Any wage garnishments, Social Security offsets, and tax refund seizures are suspended.
- All billing and automatic debits will be stopped on April 10, 2020.
For more information see: