Category Archives: Unfair & Deceptive Acts & Practices (UDAP), including Discrimination

Widman article examines whether state agencies changed their UDAP enforcement in the age of Trump

Amy Widman of Rutgers has written Protecting Consumer Protection: Filling the Federal Enforcement Gap, 69 Buffalo Law Review __ (2021) (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:  Since 2014, when a first-of-its-kind empirical study looked at how public enforcers use their authority under UDAP laws, the enforcement landscape has changed. Most notably, the Trump Administration has weakened […]

The CFPB’s Disappointing Abusiveness Policy Statement

by Jeff Sovern On Friday, the CFPB issued a Policy Statement on Abusive Acts or Practices. The Policy Statement is disappointing in several respects. First, it is intended to address a problem that has never been shown to exist. The Bureau explained that the Policy Statement is designed to ensure that “uncertainty does not impede or […]

Marketing profs explain why bad customer service isn’t going to get better and why companies don’t care

Here, in The Conversation, by Anthony Dukes, Professor of Marketing, University of Southern California and Yi Zhu, Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Minnesota. Excerpt:  Many complaint processes are actually designed to help companies retain profits by limiting the number of customers who can successfully resolve their complaints. Only by insisting to talk to a manager or […]

Arbel & Shapira article on nudniks and consumer activism

Yonathan A. Arbel of Alabama and Roy Shapira of the Stigler Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, have written Theory of the Nudnik: The Future of Consumer Activism and What We Can Do to Stop it, forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Law Review.  Here's the abstract: How do consumers hold sellers accountable and enforce market […]

CFPB Director Kraninger: Bureau will soon provide more clarity on meaning of abusive practice

by Jeff Sovern From Politico's Morning Money Newsletter: KRANINGER PROMISES CLARITY — Our Victoria Guida: “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger said … her agency will soon provide more clarity on what constitutes an ‘abusive practice’ by sellers of financial products, tackling an issue that has dogged policymakers since the financial crisis. … More broadly, […]

Raher Article on Consumer Law in Prisons and Jails

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 led many carceral systems to push certain costs onto the people who are under correctional […]

Take the Abusiveness Challenge: Identify a Valuable Consumer Financial Product Not Offered Because of Uncertainty About Whether It Is Abusive

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 to proscribe abusive conduct, the industry has long claimed that it needs additional guidance as […]

Luguri & Strahilevitz paper on how online companies manipulate consumers using dark patterns–and UDAP laws

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, or manipulate users into taking certain actions. They typically exploit cognitive biases and prompt online consumers […]

WSJ article about how debt settlement firms can harm consumers

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 and unexpected income-tax bills. * * * Data from credit-reporting companies has been used by some debt-settlement […]

Seventh Circuit: Student Loan Borrowers Can Sue Servicers Under State Consumer Protection Laws

Yesterday, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion in Nelson v. Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. in which it concluded that the federal Higher Education Act (HEA) does not preempt state law claims against student loan servicers. The case involves a student loan borrower who brought a […]