Are we going to see UDAAP statutes used against discrimination? The Student Borower Protection Center hopes so

The SBPC issued a report, DISCRIMINATION IS "UNFAIR": Interpreting UDA(A)P to Prohibit Discrimination. Here's the Executive Summary:

This Article explores a theory that discrimination is a type of “unfair” practice covered by federal and state laws prohibiting unfair, deceptive (and sometimes abusive) acts and practices (“UDA(A)Ps”). An “unfair” practice is defined by statute as something “(1) likely to cause substantial injury to consumers; (2) which is not reasonably avoidable; and (3) that is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or competition.” Discrimination fits neatly within this statutory language, and its incorporation as an unfair practice is consistent with the purposes and traditional guardrails around application of UDA(A)P law, as well as general principles in civil rights jurisprudence. Applying the “unfairness-discrimination” theory would fill important gaps in the existing patchwork of antidiscrimination laws, which currently leave large swaths of the economy unregulated and unprotected from a variety of discriminatory practices, including those with a disparate impact. By taking seriously the plain language of UDA(A)P law, federal entities like the CFPB and FTC, state attorneys general and agencies, and in some cases private individuals, could make great strides towards ensuring that entire markets and industries are not free to discriminate.

As for the view of CFPB nominee Rohit Chopra on using the Bureau's UDAAP statute in this way, the report notes "FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra—recently nominated to be the next Director of the CFPB—has advocated this theory, noting that '[d]iscriminatory practices often are three for three [referring to the requirements for finding conduct unfair], causing grievous harm that cannot be avoided.'”

0 thoughts on “Are we going to see UDAAP statutes used against discrimination? The Student Borower Protection Center hopes so

  1. Dash says:

    Fantastic idea re: state consumer protection laws and discriminatory practices. I would love to test this in NJ ASAP under CFA…..treble damage major deterrence to bad actors in way traditional anti discrimination laws lack.

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