Predatory Lending and Consumer Protection Clinic

Predatory Lending and Consumer Protection Clinic

Mr. Roger Bertling, Ms. Toby Merrill
Spring 2017 clinic
3, 4, or 5 clinical credits

Students who enroll in this clinic may count the credits towards the JD experiential learning requirement.

Enrollment in this clinic will fulfill the HLS JD pro bono requirement.

Required Class Component: Predatory Lending and Consumer Protection Clinical Seminar (2 spring classroom credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in this clinic will automatically enroll you in the required course.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: January 13, 2017.

LLM Students: LLM students may apply to this clinic by submitting an application.

Placement Site: WilmerHale Legal Services Center (Jamaica Plain).

The Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic focuses its advocacy efforts on combating abuses of consumers by the financial services industry and sellers of consumer goods, and fighting back against the negative consequences that can result from those abuses. The Clinic’s practice consists of a robust general consumer protection and bankruptcy practice focused on debt collection, bankruptcy, car financing, utility and credit card debt, bankruptcy, and mortgage servicing, and a project attacking predatory lending by for-profit colleges.

Our practice is primarily litigation and involves consumer, bankruptcy, administrative, and tort law.

The Clinic:

  • commences litigation in federal and state court against predatory mortgage lenders and other high cost lenders, abusive debt collectors, car dealers and others who prey upon our clients.
  • represents borrowers who have been harmed by predatory practices of for-profit colleges through its Project on Predatory Student Lending.
  • defends against unlawful debt collection practices in state court.
  • represent consumers seeking a fresh start through petitions for bankruptcy.

We enforce the rights of our clients using the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, federal and state debt collection laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Higher Education Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and federal and state credit repair organization laws.

Students in the Clinic gain extensive experience interviewing clients, analyzing financial documents, drafting complaints, drafting and responding to discovery requests, and engaging in long-term case strategizing. Students who participate in the Project on Predatory Student Lending will also gain experience in the administrative processes related to federal student loans. Students may also have the opportunity to conduct and defend depositions, negotiate with opposing counsel, argue motions, engage in bankruptcy and transactional work, and, on occasion, to work on legislative initiatives and impact litigation.

Students will work either in the general consumer practice or the Project on Predatory Student Lending, and may express a preference between the two practice areas. We will assign students to their preferred practice area subject to clinic needs.

For more information on the Predatory Lending / Consumer Protection Clinic, please contact Roger Bertling, (617) 390-2572. For more information on the Project on Predatory Student Lending, contact Toby Merrill, (617) 390-2576.

Subject Areas: Procedure & Practice, Business Organization, Commercial Law, and Finance, Regulatory Law