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Jeff Sovern
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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 2 days ago 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 3 days ago 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 4 days ago 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
by Jeff Sovern The more I think about the CFPB's recent proposal to allow debt collectors to leave limited-content messages over the phone, the more I think the proposal has real problems. The proposal would allow debt collectors to leave... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Many states allow their consumers to sue misbehaving companies for unfair practices, including red and purple states like Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, states that we normally don't think of as being in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2019 at CL&P Blog
It's to be published next month by Cambridge and sounds like an important contribution. Here's a description: The Foreclosure Echo tells the story of the ordinary people whose quest for the American dream was crushed in the foreclosure crisis when... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern It may seem bizarre, but it appears that recommendations that contain information that goes beyond the transactions or experiences of the person writing the letter are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, if a... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern On Saturday, I blogged about the College Board's adversity score. Today, in response to my inquiry, I received an email from the College Board which contained the following: We have received questions about whether students and schools... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern The Wall Street Journal has reported that the College Board, providers of the SAT tests, will give colleges an adversity score for each applicant who takes the SAT to aid college in admissions decisions. As the Journal... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern That's the title of my latest essay for The Conversation, about how preemption of state privacy laws could harm consumers. Here's an excerpt: [R]ather than circumventing state laws, a federal privacy law should work in partnership with... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Tim Lytton at Georgia State has written Outbreak: Foodborne Illness and the Struggle for Food Safety. Here's the blurb: Foodborne illness is a big problem. Wash those chicken breasts, and you’re likely to spread Salmonella to your countertops, kitchen towels,... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern Until 2015, when consumers submitted disputes to credit bureaus, the credit bureaus submitted the dispute to the creditor which had furnished the information, and if the creditor verified that the information was correct, the credit bureau reportedly... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern I wanted to know if the law reviews in elite schools that teach consumer law have published more consumer law articles in the last five years than law reviews in elite schools that don’t offer the course.... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Christopher K. Odinet of Oklahoma has written The New Data of Student Debt, 92 Southern California Law Review (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract: Silicon Valley is increasingly setting its sights on student lending. Financial technology (fintech) firms such as SoFi,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Anya Prince of Iowa and Daniel Schwarcz of Minnesota have written Proxy Discrimination in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Here's the abstract: Big data and Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) are revolutionizing the ways in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2019 at CL&P Blog
Matthew A. Bruckner of Howard, Brook Gotberg of Missouri, Dalié Jiménez of Irvine and Harvard's Center on the Legal Profession, and Chrystin D. Ondersma of Rutgers have written No-Contest Discharge for Uncollectable Student Loans, forthcoming in the University of Colorado... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2019 at CL&P Blog
by Jeff Sovern This transcript of the young Kathleen Kraninger has recently been unearthed: Adult: Did you eat the chocolate chip cookies? Kraninger: I will stipulate that there were chocolate chip cookies and that they are no longer here. Adult:... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at CL&P Blog