The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations that advances and protects the interests of consumers through education, advocacy, and training programs. MCRC works to ensure fairness and safety in the marketplace.
As the only statewide organization dedicated to consumer protection and consumer rights in Maryland, MCRC unites individual consumer advocates, poverty and consumer organizations, and grassroots members to press for policies that protect vulnerable Marylanders. We also educate individuals on consumer issues and consumer rights, advocate for consumer interests, study critical consumer issues, and build the consumer movement throughout Maryland. Our coalition includes more than 7,000 supporters along with partner groups including Civil Justice, AARP Maryland, the Maryland CASH Campaign, Maryland PIRG, the Job Opportunities Task Force, and the Maryland Alliance for the Poor.
In 2014, MCRC assumed leadership of the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition (BHPC) and has worked to educate and inform policymakers of the kinds of policies and programs needed to promote neighborhood stabilization and assist current and prospective homebuyers in Baltimore City.
In 2012-2013, MCRC’s films “Stealing Trust” and “Driven to Defraud” reached more than 36,000 households, giving them important information about predatory financial schemes involving debt settlement abuses, foreclosures, loan modification programs, unscrupulous home improvement contractors, auto fraud, and mandatory arbitration agreements. We showed the films at special screenings on Maryland Public Television and at community outreach events in Baltimore City and throughout the state. In 2012, MCRC staff and partners helped connect more than 200 Maryland families who saw our films to legal services, housing counselors, or financial education programs. We also helped educate more than 1,500 individuals about home improvement and auto sales fraud and assisted dozens of homeowners trying to obtain affordable home loans through high-level advocacy with bank presidents and by connecting homeowners with legal service and housing counseling partners. MCRC is currently scheduling screenings of “Driven to Defraud,” our 2013 film on auto sales fraud, in Baltimore City and other locations around Central Maryland.
Working with the Moving Maryland Forward Network (MMFN), MCRC has also grown its supporter list from 700 individuals to more than 7,000. This tremendous growth provides the organization with new opportunities to promote policies that will benefit working families in Baltimore City and throughout the state.
In recent years, MCRC has also participated in high-level policy discussions as part of Maryland’s Debt Settlement Task Force, Governor O’Malley’s Foreclosure Task Force, a Children’s Online Privacy Task Force and the Task Force for Insurance of the Last Resort. MCRC has also been involved in discussions at the White House and with HUD concerning foreclosures, homeownership, and neighborhood stabilization.