“This system perpetuates a cycle of debt and poverty that disparately affects people of color; people of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system in California and this involuntary debt can affect the building of intergenerational wealth.” Theresa Zhen, Staff Attorney, East Bay Community Law Center.
SB 298, by Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), would automatically exempt up to $2,250 per debtor from bank levies — that’s when a judge gives a creditor approval to seize money from an account. More than 100,000 bank levies are served every year statewide, according to research by the East Bay Community Law Center.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said mandatory arbitration clauses are a way for banks and other financial companies to sidestep the legal system.
National Jurist has named Luke Diamond ’16 a 2016 Law Student of the Year. His many achievements include founding the Consumer Rights Workshop, whose students have helped more than 150 clients, and strengthening the East Bay Community Law Center’s debt-collection litigation defense practice.
Unscrupulous debt collection agencies have misused the courts to steamroll low-income consumers in recent years, but the State of California took a major step towards ending these unfair practices when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Fair Debt-Buying Practices Act (SB 233).