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Jeff Sovern
Recent Activity
Stephen Raher has written The Company Store and the Literally Captive Market: Consumer Law in Prisons and Jails, 17 Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal 3 (2019). Here's the abstract: The growth of public expense associated with mass incarceration has... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
We received the following announcement: The Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice at Berkeley Law is looking for a staff attorney/research fellow to spearhead its work for consumer and economic justice in courts and regulatory agencies. If you know... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Jessica LaVoice and Domonkos F. Vamossy, both of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Economics, have written Racial Disparities in Debt Collection. Here is the abstract: A distinct set of disadvantages experienced by black Americans increases their likelihood of experiencing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Richard Frankel of Drexel has written Corporate Hostility to Arbitration, 50 Seton Hall Law Review (forthcoming 2020). Here is the abstract: In the last 30 years, corporations have aggressively and successfully pushed the Supreme Court to invalidate virtually all state... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2019 at CL&P Blog
That's the subject of a new book by Linda Fisher of Seton Hall and Judith L. Fox of Notre Dame, published by Cambridge Press, The Foreclosure Echo: How the Hardest Hit Have Been Left Out of the Economic Recovery. You... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern The Dodd-Frank Act gives the CFPB the power to act against entities within the CFPB's jurisdiction for engaging in abusive practices. See 12 USC 5531. Though that section explains what the limits are to the Bureau's power... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2019 at CL&P Blog
James P. Nehf of Indiana--Indianapolis has written The Failure of 'Notice and Consent' as Effective Consumer Policy. Here's the abstract: Over the past several decades, the preferred model for consumer protection in most countries has emphasized a notice and consent... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Section 1692g(a)(4) requires debt collectors to send consumers a "a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2019 at CL&P Blog
We have received the following call for abstracts (last year's conference was excellent): The Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice, its director Ted Mermin, and co-organizers Abbye Atkinson, Kathleen Engel, Manisha Padi, Rory Van Loo, and Lauren Willis... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Jamie Luguri and Lior Strahilevitz, both of Chicago, have written Shining a Light on Dark Patterns. Here is the abstract: Dark patterns are user interfaces whose designers knowingly confuse users, make it difficult for users to express their actual preferences,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Here. Excerpt: Companies like National Debt Relief seek out heavily indebted consumers with a promise to help them get out from under it. But regulators say these debt-settlement programs can leave customers worse off, facing high fees, damaged credit scores... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at CL&P Blog
We've received the following Call for Papers: 4th CFPB Research Conference on Consumer Finance December 12th–13th, 2019 This December, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will host its fourth research conference on consumer finance at Catholic University in Washington, DC.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Daniel Schwarcz of Minnesota has written Towards a Civil Rights Approach to Insurance Anti-Discrimination Law, 69 DePaul Law Review (Forthcoming). Here's the abstract: Discrimination is fundamental to the business of auto and homeowners insurance. Yet state insurance law does remarkably... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Many consumer laws require that businesses make "clear and conspicuous" disclosures. See, e.g., Reg Z, 12 C.F.R. 1026.17(a)(1) (closed-end loans). But increasingly, consumers are obtaining loans through mobile phones. How can any disclosure on those tiny screens... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Matthew A. Bruckner of Howard has written Preventing Predation & Encouraging Innovation in Fintech Lending. Here is the abstract: More than 20 years ago, IBM's Deep Blue vanquished chess grandmaster and reigning world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, in a pair... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Norm Silber of Hosfstra has pointed out to me that the New York legislature has passed two consumer protection bills that await Governor Cuomo's signature. One, S03704, would amend New York's existing Plain Language Law to require... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2019 at CL&P Blog
From the announcement: The Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice is pleased to announce that the second annual Consumer Law Scholars Conference will be held at the UC Berkeley School of Law on March 5-6, 2020. The conference... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern The industry and some others often complain about "regulation by enforcement," by which I gather is meant that enforcement agencies bring actions against businesses without having previously given extremely clear notice that, in the agency's view, the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Gregory S. Crespi of Southern Methodist Universit has written Why Are 99% of the Applications for Debt Discharge under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Being Denied, and Will This Change? Here is the abstract: During the first 18 months... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2019 at CL&P Blog
John P. Hunt of California, Davis has written Promoting the Purposes of Student Loans by Tempering Bankruptcy Nondischargeability. Here's the abstract: Student loans, unlike other debts, are not dischargeable in bankruptcy unless the debtor starts a special proceeding and proves... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Regular blog subscribers may recall that last year, at Richard Alderman's Teaching Consumer Law Conference, I asked two questions of attendees about whether they read contracts or required disclosures (those results are available here). James Nehf generously... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern I've spent the last few days at a terrific International Association of Consumer Law conference at the of Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney Law School (my second great conference in five months, the other being Ted Mermin's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Link here Excerpt: [T]the bureau proposal would invade consumer privacy by allowing collectors to bombard consumers with demands for payment. Under the proposal, debt collectors could try the consumer’s phone number seven times a week and leave... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Meirav Furth-Matzkin and Roseanna Sommers, both of Chicago, have written Consumer Psychology and the Problem of Fine Print Fraud, 72 STANFORD LAW REVIEW___ (Forthcoming). Here's the abstract: This Article investigates how laypeople respond to consumer contracts that are formed as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2019 at CL&P Blog