Consumer Debtor Protections & Rights for Low-Income Americans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Level: Beginner
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: April 14, 2020
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• State Attorneys General: Protecting Consumers During Crisis
        - Enforcer
        - Regulator
        - Influencer - Bully Pulpit
• Consumer Protections During COVID Emergency
        - Background on Debt Collection
        - COVID-19 Impacts
        - AG Emergency Regulations
• Consumer Debtor Protections and Rights
        - Predatory Loan Products
        - Veterans and Consumer Fair Credit Act
        - CARES Act
• Consumer Debtor Protections and Rights for Low-Income Americans
        - Problems for Consumers and Potential Solutions

Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Recorded: April 14, 2020


Consumer debtors face extreme challenges in the current pandemic environment. Get tips on how lawyers can help clients manage their legal obligations and understand their legal rights.

This program was recorded on April 14th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Whitney A. Barkley-Denney

Senior Policy Counsel
Center for Responsible Lending

Whitney Barkley-Denney is legislative policy counsel, based in Durham, NC, where she works with state legislatures, attorneys general, and governors to fight predatory lending, exploitative student loan practices, and unscrupulous debt collectors.

Prior to CRL, Whitney worked on a range of election law issues as director of the Michigan Election Law Project and field director for Election Protection 2008, coordinating law students and attorneys to monitor polls for election irregularities during the 2008 presidential campaign. Whitney clerked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, serving in the Voter Protection Division, working to enforce the 1964 Voting Rights Act. She accepted a fellowship from Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps to do foreclosure assistance work with the Mississippi Center for Justice, developing legal and policy expertise in foreclosure, consumer lending, and for-profit colleges. In 2013 and 2014, Whitney was appointed to the US Department of Education's Federal Rulemaking Committee on Gainful Employment and Programmatic Integrity, helping to set federal financial policy for students.

Whitney attended The College of Charleston, in Charleston (SC), and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, being named 2009 Woman Law Student of the Year by the National Women Lawyers Association. When she's not at work, Whitney enjoys theater.

Peter Downing

Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Peter Downing is the Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

Evan J. Denerstein

Staff Attorney, Consumer Rights Prooject
MFY Legal Services

Evan Denerstein is a Staff Attorney at MFY Legal Services.

James J. Pierson

Chatham University

Jim Pierson is a C.P.A. and Attorney with over 25 years of experience that includes public accounting and private industry, predominantly in the engineering and construction industry. His individual and business tax experience includes tax consulting and tax manager roles in public accounting with a large local C.P.A. firm and with Ernst & Young; as well as a tax manager and tax director of a $1 billion publicly traded company with large multi-state and international operations. His private industry experience also includes extensive experience in financial reporting and accounting as a Controller and Divisional CFO for large publicly traded companies with extensive SEC reporting experience and global operations.

Jim has also been active supporting, training and supervising students with internship opportunities and with the I.R.S. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free individual tax preparation services to low and moderate-income taxpayers.

Prior to pursuing a career in business, Jim spent seven years in the United States Army, in various duties from private to Captain.

Judy Perry Martinez

Immediate Past President
American Bar Association

Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans is Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association, the largest voluntary association of attorneys and legal professionals in the world.

Over the past 35 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions with the ABA, including chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all nominees to the federal bench. Earlier, she served as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee.

She also has served on numerous ABA committees dealing with critical issues in law and society. She served as chair of the ABA’s Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and its Commission on Domestic Violence. She was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, and the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity.

Between 2003 and 2015, while at Northrop Grumman Corporation, Martinez served as assistant general counsel-litigation before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011. After retiring from the aerospace and cyberspace industry, she spent a year as a fellow in residence at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Martinez returned to Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, where she had worked as a commercial litigator from 1982 to 2003, rising to partner and member of the management committee.

Martinez has held several leadership positions within the New Orleans and Louisiana State Bar Associations, and she served on the board of the Innocence Project-New Orleans, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and as an officer of the World Justice Project. She also has served as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Among her various honors, Martinez received the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel, the Distinguished Attorney Award from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the Alliance for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys. She was honored in 2017 with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the New Orleans Bar Association’s Presidents’ Award.

She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, a member of the American Law Institute, and a former member of the board of directors of the American Bar Foundation.

Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and her juris doctor, with honors, from Tulane Law School.

Ashley L. Taylor, Jr.

Troutman Sanders LLP

Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. is a partner with Troutman Sanders LLP and a member of the firms executive committee and partners compensation committee. He is a member of both the consumer law and complex commercial litigation practice groups. He devotes his practice to defending companies in state attorneys general investigations and representing companies in administrative law matters and business related litigation. Prior to joining Troutman Sanders in 2007, he served as a deputy attorney general for Virginia. He is founder and chair of the ABA Subcommittee on State Attorneys General. Mr. Taylor was appointed by President Bush to serve as a Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has served on the commission since December 1984. He received his J.D. from Washington & Lee School of Law in 1993 and a B.A. in economics from the Virginia Military Institute in 1990. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to a U.S. district court judge.

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