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

Snake oil, the placebo effect, and status quo bias: Should evidence of “satisfied customers” defeat a consumer fraud class action?

by Deepak Gupta Should a defendant in a consumer fraud class action be able to defeat certification through evidence that its customers say they are "satisfied," even when the the allegation is that the product is snake oil?  Or would that transform the placebo effect into a defense to fraud? That's the question the Ninth […]

James Cooper on the Meaning of Unfairness in the FTC Act

James C. Cooper of George Mason has written The Perils of Excessive Discretion: The Elusive Meaning of Unfairness in Section 5 of the FTC Act.  Here's the abstract: Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act gives the FTC an undefined mandate to prosecute "unfair methods of competition." For nearly 100 years, the Commission […]

Should consumers be allowed to sue creditors directly (without first notifying the credit bureau) when they refuse to provide accurate information?

Jeffrey Bils, a UCLA law student, has published Fighting Unfair Credit Reports: A Proposal to Give Consumers More Power to Enforce the Fair Credit Reporting Act, in the latest UCLA Law Review Discourse. Here's a summary: Credit reports play a central role in some of our most important transactions, such as buying a house or car, or […]

Paper on Private Enforcement

Stephen B. Burbank of Pennsylvania, Sean Farhang of Berkeley' s Goldman School of Public Policy, and Herbert M. Kritzer of Minnesota have written Private Enforcement, 17 Lewis & Clark Law Review 637 (2013).  Here's the abstract: Our aim in this Article is to advance understanding of private enforcement of statutory and administrative law in the […]

Another Story on Car Repair Cheats

From time to time, news media run a story on car repair outfits that cheat consumers.  Unfortunately, there seems to be an inexhaustible supply of such businesses, perhaps because most consumers lack the ability to determine if they are being ripped off by their mechanics.  You can find another such story here.  

More on Debt Collection: CFPB To Go After Banks’ Collection Practices

Suddenly, there's a lot going on the in the world of debt collection regulation. On the heels of yesterday's announcement by the FTC of a huge debt-collection settlement (discussed in the post below), the CFPB is announcing today that it will use its UDAAP authority to regulate the collection practices of banks. “It doesn’t matter […]

Consumer Protection – Wyoming Style

From Dee Pridgen: The Wyoming State Attorney General’s office recently completed its first major in-state enforcement action in recent history against the Sharps Rifle Company. The company was manufacturing a collector's item replica pistol.  Sharps took deposits and payments from customers for the pistols, but never delivered the product due to technical difficulties in the […]

Times Article on Paid Celebrity Endorsements on Twitter and the FTC

Here.  When consumers see celibrities endorse products on TV, they are likely to believe that the celebrities are being paid.  Do consumers have the same reaction to tweets endorsing things?  Should celebrities disclose that when they are paid for tweets? 

In Lawsuit Filed Today, CFPB Rolls Out Its “Abusive” Practices Authority For the First Time

Big news: The CFPB today filed the first lawsuit that invokes the agency's authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to police practices that are not just unfair or deceptive, but "abusive."  Observers of the agency have been eagerly anticipating the first use of that authority, which is new to the world of consumer law. The Bureau's Action […]

American Banker: How to CFPB-Proof New Financial Products

by Jeff Sovern Here (behind a paywall, unfortunately). But here's the part that's not behind the paywall: To avoid unwanted scrutiny from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators, banks need to start thinking about "what is fair, not just what is legal," banking attorneys say. And isn't that one of the reasons we […]