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Consumer Protection
South Texas College of Law Houston
Steiner, Mark E.

Consumer Law on Bar
1)       Consumer law of twelve thirty-minute essay questions (on the third day).
2)       All past exams at bar examiner website and all past consumer essays are in handount.
3)       Consumer law includes:
a.       DTPA
b.       DTPA Tie-in statutes
c.       Texas and Federal debt collection acts
d.       Insurance Law
1)       Standard plain vanilla DTPA
a.       July 1999, Feb 2000, July 2000, Feb 2001, Feb 2003, Feb 2005, Feb 2006
2)       Texas Debt Collection Act
a.       Feb 2002, July 2002, Feb 2004 (& DTPA), July 2005 (& DTPA)
3)       Texas Insurance Code
a.       Feb 2002, July 2004 (& DTPA)
4)       Tie-in statute/DTPA
a.       July 2003 (Home Solicitation Act)
1)       False, misleading, or deceptive act or practice that is
a.       specifically enumerated in statute [the laundry list] b.       and relied on by consumer to the consumer’s detriment
2)       breach of an express or implied warranty
3)       any unconscionable action or course of action by any person;
4)       violation of Insurance Code ch. 541
TILA [Truth in Lending Act] 1)       Requires clear disclosure of interest rates and other credit terms (“finance charges”)
2)       But does not regulate rates themselves
3)       Right of rescission (“cooling off period”) for certain transactions
1)       Federal Reserve Board’s administrative regulations that implement TILA
15 USC § 1640- Remedies
1)       Actual damages
2)       Attorneys fees
3)       Statutory penalty [see Koons v. Nigh below] [KOONS v. NIGH] Nigh sued Koons, a car dealership, under TILA, the Truth in Lending Act. Nigh sought uncapped recovery of twice the finance charge, an amount equal to $24,192.80. Koons Buick urged a $1,000 limitation on statutory damages under § 1640(a)(2)(A)(i).
[SECTION 1640] à Civil liability
(a) Individual or class action for damages; amount of award; factors determining amount of award. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any creditor who fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this chapter [15 USCS §§ 1631 et seq.], including any requirement under section 125 [15 USCS § 1635], or chapter 4 or 5 of this title [15 USCS §§ 1666 et seq. or 1667 et seq.] with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of–
   (1) any actual da

DY] à AMBIGUOUS: The word “subparagraph” directs that the $1,000 cap applies to recoveries under both clause (A)(i) and clause (A)(ii), as both fall under subparagraph (A).
The inclusion of the new maximum and minimum in (iii) shows that the clause previously interpreted to apply to all of (A), can no longer apply to (A), but must now apply solely to (ii), so as not to render meaningless the maximum and minimum articulated in (iii).
[GINSBERG] à AMBIGUOUS: Ginsberg determines that the statute is ambiguous and thus looks at extrinsic sources.
One of these sources, the legislative documents, does not flag the change in statutory construction. Ginsberg believes that such a drastic change in the statute would have been recorded.
SCALIA à NOT AMBIGUOUS: What is the Canon of Canine Silence? Instead of looking at the words of the statute, the majority court is going to muffle the true voices of the statute.