Last fall marked the 50th anniversary of Jane Greengold Stevens’s admission to the Bar. In recognition of her decades-long commitment to the rights and well-being of consumers with low income, she has recently been awarded the prestigious “Vern Countryman Award” by the National Consumer Law Center.
Jane has devoted her career to representing the interests of individuals and families with low-income through her work at legal services organizations, including NYLAG, where she has spent the last two decades of her career and co-directs the organization’s impact litigation practice. Jane has a long history of litigating important and interesting cases to protect consumers. Here are some highlights of her incredible career:
- Jane has been litigating against for-profit schools for decades, including by filing multiple cases against schools that misrepresented themselves to students. (Examples include Figueroa v. Market Training Institute, Inc. et al.; Moy v. Adelphi Institute et al.; and Frica Sanchez v. ASA).
- In the 1994 case Gibbons v. Riley, No. 94 Civ. 5212, Jane challenged excessive collection fees charged by the Department of Education, and achieved a settlement helping three million borrowers.
- Jane sued a debt collection law firm that collected federal student loan debt in violation of the Higher Education Act (Arroyo v. Solomon and Solomon, P.C., No. 99 Civ. 8302 (E.D.N.Y. 1999).
- Jane has repeatedly litigated to protect student loan borrowers’ rights to discharges of their loans, including in Gill v. Paige, No. 00 Civ. 5453 (E.D.N.Y. 2000). In the more recent Salazar v. King, No. 14 Civ. 1230 (S.D.N.Y.), Jane and her team’s appellate court victory led to a settlement benefiting over 60,000 former students of the sham school Wilfred Academy.
- Jane has brought many cases challenging New York state statutes that permit execution of judgments or debts against low-income consumers. (Examples include Deary v. Guardian Loan Co., Inc., No 80 Civ. 1976 (S.D.N.Y.), Mayers v. New York Community Bancorp, Inc., et al., No. 03 Civ. 5837 (E.D.N.Y.), Sims v. Bank of America et al., No. 06 Civ. 5991 (E.D.N.Y), Watts v. Wing, Thompson v. Wing).
It is NYLAG’s great pleasure to celebrate Jane Greengold Stevens as she receives this well-deserved award.