Consumer Contracts

American Predatory Lending and the North Carolina model

05/22/20

My coauthor Ed Balleisen has co-founded a program on consumer lending of interest to Credit Slips readers. Its initial data collection is particularly useful in documenting the North Carolina experience and its implications for other states.

[more]

Coronavirus Will Hasten the Shift To App-Based Banking and Lending. How Will That Affect People's Pocketbooks?

04/14/20

Over at the Machine Lawyering blog -- organized and edited by the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Law Faculty’s Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development -- Slipster Nathalie Martin and I just posted some commentary about our new article,

[more]

11th Circuit: Student Borrower Consumer Claims not Preempted by HEA

04/14/20

An 11th Circuit panel ruled last week that student loan borrowers may assert state law misrepresentation claims against a student loan servicer that falsely told them their FFEL loans qualified for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

[more]

Treasury Must Act Now To Protect Relief Payments From Debt Collectors

04/08/20

The CARES Act provides for direct "rebate" payments to American households. Treasury is gearing up to send some of those payments out soon. But Congress forgot to protect the payments from garnishment.

[more]

Daniel Schwarcz on the Evolution of Insurance Contracts

02/07/20

I shudder even as I write these words, but I’m increasingly fascinated by insurance contracts.  If you are interested in the processes by which standard form contracts evolve – which I am -- then you can’t help but be sucked into this world. Coming from the world of sovereign bonds, the insurance world strikes as bizarre.

[more]

Coercive "Consent" to Paperless Statements

11/12/19

If you've logged on to any sort of on-line financial account in the past few years, there's a very good chance that you've been asked to consent to receive your periodic statements electronically, rather than on paper. Financial institutions often pitch this to consumers as a matter of being eco-friendly (less paper, less transportation) or of convenience (for what Millennial wants to deal with paper other than hipsters with their Moleskines).

[more]

Driven to Bankruptcy — New Research from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project

09/16/19

In America, people drive — to work, to the doctor, to the grocery store, to their kids' daycare, to see their aging parents. Research shows that car ownership increases the probability of employment and number of hours worked; households without cars have lower incomes and are more likely to be in poverty. In short, cars are essential. Household financial distress can threaten people's cars, and with them, the day-to-day stability that car ownership brings. People thus may file bankruptcy, in part, to save their cars.

[more]

Ditech, Reverse Mortgages, Consumer Concerns, and Section 363(o)

08/30/19

A couple days ago, Judge Garrity Jr. of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued a 132 page opinion denying confirmation of Ditech's proposed plan. Ditech, of course, is an originator and servicer of mortgages, including reverse mortgages. Its plan contemplated sales of both its forward and reverse mortgage businesses--free and clear of customers' claims and defenses.

[more]

What Is "Credit"? AfterPay, Earnin', and ISAs

07/16/19
A major issue in consumer finance regulation in mid-20th century was what counted as “credit” and was therefore subject to state usury laws and (after 1968) to the federal Truth in Lending Act. Many states had a time-price differential doctrine that held that when a retailer sold goods for future payment, the differential between the price of a cash sale and that of credit sale was not interest for usury law purposes.
[more]

The Mad Mad World of "No Contest" Provisions in Wills

06/28/19

It has been almost twenty-five years since I got hooked on the puzzle of why boilerplate financial contracts, even among the most sophisticated parties, have inefficient terms. Steve Choi and I were taking Marcel Kahan’s Corporate Bond class and we couldn’t understand why the classical model with its highly informed repeat players (with everyone hiring expensive lawyers) wasn’t working to produce the optimal package of contract terms. Marcel presented a very coherent set of explanations for this phenomenon of contract stickiness having to do primari

[more]