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

First hour:
1. Debt insurance federal and state
2. insurance
-one will not test on DTPA (consumer protection laws)
-will not get rest of test until an hour passes.
-Rest will be cummulative. RCLA, arbitration, DTPA, overview. Couple of longer questions for an hour. Then some shorter ones. 6 10 minute questions.
1/3 bar like essays
1/3 short answer
1/3 long answer

Midterm- two bar questions (tie in and dtpa)
Final- begins with two bar question. (Insurance and ??)

Consumer law according to examiners includes
Learn 4 templates

o Standard Plain Vanilla DTPA
o Texas Debt Collection Act
o Texas Insurance Code
o Tie-in Statute/DTPA

Chapter 1:
Section 1: Introduction

1) John Hill- Page 1- Economics of consumer cases usually were not profitable for attorneys to take. Common law remedies were inadequate. Winner now gets mandatory attorney=s fees. When originally started it was treble the damages. Now it is additional damages. The originators of DTPA were hoping businesses would be proactive in changing their deceptive practices. Affected consumers, and plaintiffs attorneys to bring these suits. Defense attorneys are more likely to settle.

a) Policy-DTPA is designed to prevent fraud, deception and misrepresentation in the marketplace.

2) Defining Consumer ‘ 17.45

a) consumer means an individual, partnership, corporation, this state or a subdivision or agency of this state who seeks or acquires by purchase or lease and goods or services except that the term does not include a business consumer that has assets of 25 million or more or that is owned or controlled by a corporation or entity with assets of 25 million or more.
b) 17.45- Consumer

i) must seek or acquire
ii) by purchase or lease AND
iii) any goods or services

3) DTPA Elements

a) Π is consumer
b) D violates acts under 17.50
c) Δ acts were producing cause of consumer=s damages

a. Examples

-Ex. is a fire alarm a good or service? Possibly a mixed question.

nt B gives consumer more power
e) 15 USC ‘ 1640 Civil Liability

i) Actual Damages
ii) Attorney=s fees
iii) Statutory penalty

(1) Twice the amount of the finance charge
(2) 25% of total amount of monthly payments shall not be less than 100 or more than 1000
(3) credit transaction and not under open end credit plan that is secured by real property or a dwelling not less than 200 or greater than 2000

6) Koons Buick v. Nigh-

a) FACTS: here P was awarded around $25k under (i) as opposed to $1k.
b) Does the limitation at the end of subsection (ii) apply to subsection (i)? Why does it matter?

i) Clause (i) allows twice the actual damages, or Clause (i) allows twice the actual damages capped at $1000

c) ISSUE: When can you look beyond the language?

When there’s Ambiguity