ABOUT THE CONSUMER PROTECTIONS AND HOUSING PROJECT

The Consumer Protections and Housing Project is dedicated to improving housing conditions for low-income people and to protecting North Carolinians from harmful and abusive business practices.

OUR GOALS

  • Create an adequate supply of safe, decent and affordable housing
  • Increase, maintain and enforce protections and rights for tenants
  • Reduce the loss of homes to foreclosures and unfair practices, and end predatory mortgage lending
  • Ensure protections are in place to prevent abuses by banks and finance companies, and stop payday lenders from returning to North Carolina
  • Litigate cases that increase protections and recover damages for low-income consumers
  • Create affordable access to utilities, transportation, and other services

LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY

We have helped to ensure that North Carolina has some of the best consumer protections in the nation, and our advocacy efforts on housing are so widely known and respected that there is a statewide award that bears our director of advocacy’s name.

Financial Consumer Protections: We have successfully advocated for and defended numerous protections related to lending, and we continue to fight efforts to lower regulations and increase fees for companies seeking to make predatory loans.

Homeowners’ Rights: We helped create regulations on mortgage lenders and loan servicers that protect homeowners from unscrupulous practices, and we secured passage of a law that cracked down on “foreclosure rescue” and other scams.

Tenants’ Rights: We work to ensure that renters have adequate protections from abusive practices by landlords, and we have successfully advocated for improved housing conditions and enforcement of housing quality standards.

Affordable Housing: We advocate for increased investment in the NC Housing Trust Fund, which finances the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing, and for an increase in affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians who are low-income, have disabilities, are elderly, or are survivors of domestic violence.

Access to Transit and Essential Services: We work to increase public transit options and to ensure transit and housing plans are coordinated to best serve all families in our communities. In addition, we strive to make sure utilities are accessible and affordable even in remote or impoverished areas of the state.

LEGAL WORK

We pursue high-impact litigation that has the potential to protect and expand the rights of low-income groups and individuals. We have also helped to recover millions of dollars for North Carolina consumers through class-action lawsuits. Our director of litigation received several national awards for her efforts to fight predatory lending.

Payday Lending Lawsuits: We are involved in a series of class-action cases against payday lenders seeking to get money back for their customers. So far, three companies have settled, and we have recovered a total of $43.75 million for more than 364,000 class members.

Foreclosure Prevention: Together with our legal services partners, we have provided free legal representation to hundreds of low-income homeowners who were victims of abusive or illegal lending practices. We have saved homes from foreclosure and secured cash settlements for families who lost their homes to unlawful practices. In addition, we are litigating a class-action lawsuit to stop unlicensed settlement companies from conducting loan closings and to recover damages for their victims.

Tenants’ Rights: We have undertaken a number of cases to protect and expand tenants' rights. These include cases dealing with bed-bug infestation, mold, deceptive use of "rent discounts," and attempts to evict for failure to pay water bills. If you have a tenant-rights issue, please see our Getting Legal Help page.

Fair Housing: With our partners at Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project, we fight housing discrimination. Learn more at www.fairhousingnc.org.