Berkeley Law students and CAPS members Brenna Kearns (3L), Snehee Khandeshi (2L), and Tal Solovey (1L) submitted a public comment to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact standard. In it, the students argued that the HUD must not allow housing providers, lenders, insurers and a host of other actors to evade liability for the discriminatory effects of their policies by hiding behind algorithmic models and declining to collect data.
CAPS Student Comment HUD Disparate Impact
Second-year Berkeley Law students and CAPS members Julia Butts, Samson Lim, and Daniel Twomey submitted a public comment on Regulation F (Debt Collection Practices) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In it, the students proposed three modifications to the proposed rules to protect debtors from abuse. First, the rules need to be modified to protect consumers from phishing and smishing scams. Second, the rules should require individuals to consent before receiving electronic messaging from debt collectors. Third, the rules should take concrete steps to ensure that low English proficiency consumers are informed of their rights in a language-appropriate manner.
First-year Berkeley Law students and CAPS members Angela Moon, Ari Chivukula, and Marta Studnicka submitted a comment to the Federal Trade Commission on Competition and Consumer Protection. In it, the students argued that the U.S. must maintain the market it built by properly policing: (1) the type and sensitivity of data companies can collect and transfer; (2) how the data can be used; (3) how the data can be secured; and (4) how consumers are notified of data collection and use.
Public Comment for FTC on Consumer Privacy”]
First-year Berkeley Law students and CAPS members Vivek Banerjee and Dan Noel submitted a public comment on behalf of CAPS to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the implementation of the 2017 “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans” Rule (the “Final Rule”). The students provided four reasons to support implementation. First, the Final Rule fulfills the Bureau’s statutory mandate under the Dodd-Frank Act to “identify and prevent unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.” Second, the Final Rule shifts the burden to lenders to assess a consumer’s ability to repay, in acknowledgment of the limited choices indebted consumers actually have. Third, the Final Rule only constrains products identified by the Bureau as unfair and abusive, leaving space for lenders to innovate new ways of meeting consumer needs. And fourth, the Final Rule sufficiently seeks to minimize market impact without compromising the Bureau’s core mission of consumer protection.
First-year Berkeley Law students and CAPS members Ted Lee, Samson Lim, and Oscar Sarabia Roman have submitted a public comment on behalf of CAPS and in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice. The FCC and NorthStar Alarm Systems, LLC sought clarification that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (47 U.S.C. § 227) did not prohibit the use of soundboard technology (i.e., the use of “prerecorded message” by live telemarketers). The students argued that the TCPA prohibits the use of the technology because it falls squarely under the Act’s ban on the use of “artificial or prerecorded voice.” The comment can be found here.
CAPS members attend Ninth Circuit oral arguments in Manriquez v. DeVos
On Friday, February 8, 2019, members of CAPS attended oral arguments in the case of Manriquez v. DeVos at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Josh Rovenger of the Project on Predatory Student Lending argued on behalf of former Corinthian College students, who had filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education for “illegally and unfairly denying relief to tens of thousands of former Corinthian students.” (Project on Predatory Student Lending).
(From left) CAPS members Franklin Munoz (far left), Samson Lim (second from left), and Oscar Sarabia Roman (far right) joined Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice’s board chair Suzanne Martindale (center) and interim executive director Ted Mermin (second from right) at the Ninth Circuit for oral arguments.
Second-year Berkeley Law student and CAPS member Hanne Jensen has submitted a public comment on behalf of the Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society (CAPS) cautioning the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation against changing their guidance for financial institutions offering small-dollar “payday” loans. Following the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s rescission of its guidance, some banks have begun exploring offering high-interest, small-dollar loans to consumers. Considering issues involving enforcement, administrability, and the high risk of an under-regulated lending market, Jensen urges the FDIC to retain their current guidance to protect vulnerable borrowers. The public comment can be found online here: https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/2018/2018-small-dollar-lending-3064-za04-c-032.pdf
First-year Berkeley Law students and CAPS members Samson Lim and Matt Clarkston have submitted a public comment on behalf of the Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society (CAPS) opposing the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal to rescind the ‘gainful employment’ rule. Under the current rule, career education programs that repeatedly leave students with unaffordable levels of debt relative to their earnings can lose access to federal Title IV funds (i.e., federal student loans, grants, and work-study). Based on a review of recent judicial decisions, academic research, and relevant data, Lim and Clarkston argue that the Department of Education’s proposal to eliminate the rule lacks evidence-based justification and rolls back hard-earned protections for thousands of students seeking to pursue higher education. The public comment can be found online here.
Click HERE or see below for more info! Posted by Jeff Sovern at Public Citizen’s Consumer Law & Policy Blog:
We have received the following call for papers appearing below. This one looks especially exciting for consumer law scholars: it’s at an elite law school and has an impressive roster of organizers.
The Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice, its director Ted Mermin, and co-organizers Abbye Atkinson, Kathleen Engel, Rory Van Loo, and Lauren Willis are pleased to announce the inaugural Consumer Law Scholars Conference (CLSC), which will be held the afternoon and evening of February 21 and all day February 22, 2019, in Berkeley, CA.