Opinions and Legal Insights

Dee Pridgen authors new edition of Consumer Protection Law in a Nutshell

West has published the fifth edition of Dee Pridgen’s Consumer Protection Law in a Nutshell, the best short introduction to consumer protection law and an extremely useful volume for students and practitioners alike (disclosure: I commented on the manuscript of the fourth edition and coauthor a casebook with Dee). Here are some of the bigger changes from the fourth edition, which is also a review of the changes in consumer protection law over the four years since the last edition:

 

  • Seila Law Firm v. CFPB, 2020 S. Ct. ruling on constitutionality of CFPB structure, single director terminable only for cause
  • Pullback of Payday Lending Rule by CFPB
  • New CFPB stored value/prepaid account rule, bringing these newer forms of consumer payment under the protection of Regulation E, requiring pre-purchase fee disclosures and other safeguards for combined prepaid/credit cards. Campus cards, used to distribute financial aid, receive some special protections as well under a Department of Education regulation.  
  • Discussion of newer forms of electronic consumer payments, including Internet based peer-to-peer systems, mobile based systems, and so-called virtual or crypto currency.
  • Details on the proposed CFPB rule implementing FDCPA, including provisions on collection of debts past the applicable statute of limitations, limits on telephone calls, and use of email and text messages for debt collection,
  • 2017 U.S. Supreme Court case, Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., holding that debt buyers who are collecting their own purchased debts are not considered to be “debt collectors” under the FDCPA, and thus not subject to its requirements.
  • Congressional veto of CFPB Rule banning class action waivers in arbitration clauses
  • Regulatory status of “Fintech” (internet based) lenders, “earned wage advances,” and use of expanded creditworthiness factors by fintech lenders potentially resulting in discrimination
  • Regulation of “native” ads and consumer reviews on social media
  • FTC enforcement of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), which regulates negative option marketing on the Internet.
  • FTC settlement with major multi-level marketer Herbalife, seller of dietary supplements
  • New developments in enforceability of online contract terms, including proposed ALI Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts
  • FTC’s record-breaking privacy enforcement action against tech giant Facebook
  • New California comprehensive consumer privacy legislation.
  • Historic multi-agency settlement with Equifax, to settle charges related to massive data breach involving consumers’ personal financial information
  • Effect of constitutional Article III standing requirement for private lawsuits in federal court in cases involving federal consumer protection statutes, stemming from landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision involving FCRA, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (2016)
  • New federal law requires Consumer Reporting Agencies to provide all consumers with an option to place a “security freeze” on their credit records, free of charge.
  • Recent developments in TILA enforcement
  • 2018 amendments to FTC Used Car Rule Buyers Guide