Mother Jones quoted Professor Jeff Sovern in a recent story on the political struggle to regulate car dealerships in an effort to prevent the widespread practice of charging minority clients excessively high interest rates. The article, The Obama Administration Wants to End Racial Discrimination by Car Dealers. Why Are 35 Dems Getting in the Way?, explains:
Car dealers have also complained that regulating the interest rates dealerships can charge will increase costs for consumers. Consumer advocates disagree: “I don’t believe . . . [dealers’] ability to mark up prices . . . in any way benefits consumers,” says Stuart Rossman, director of litigation the National Consumer Law Center, an advocacy group. Jeff Sovern, a law professor and expert in consumer law at St. John’s University in New York, adds that the low prices some customers have been paying may have been subsidized by the higher prices paid by minorities. “It’s not usually considered a defense that the beneficiaries of racism should keep the lower prices that other groups pay for,” he says.