In Defense of the Consumer

Suffolk Law research professor Kathleen Engel argues in the New York Daily News that the CHOICE Act, a bill rolling back certain consumer protections of the Dodd-Frank Act of the Obama era, will put consumers at risk and plays into the hands of predatory lenders.

Her editorial, “Your consumer protections, on the brink of destruction in Congress,” appeared on June 7.

In her editorial, Engel argues that the CHOICE Act removes regular federal oversight of debt collectors and private student loan lenders and “revokes the CFPB’s power to enforce laws that prohibit unfair, abusive, and deceptive practices in consumer transactions.”

Engel, a national authority on consumer credit and mortgage regulation and author of the 2011 book “The Subprime Virus: Reckless Credit, Regulatory Failure and Next Steps,” serves on the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and was a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board from 2008 to 2011.

Engel also recently published an article arguing for policies that would “expand localities’ power to protect against actions by financial institutions that threaten or impose costs on communities.”

In “Local Governments and Risky Home Loans,” published in Southern Methodist University Law Review, she also introduces models for local regulation of home mortgage lending.
Cities and towns across the nation face the blight of foreclosed and abandoned homes, even though many tried to stop the risky loans before they took their toll on residents and neighborhoods.