Sovern Speaks in ABI Podcast, Quoted in Media, Has Article Discussed on Blog

Professor Jeff Sovern was one of two speakers in an American Bankruptcy Institute podcast titled What Concerns Do Experts Have for Future Debt Collection Practices after the Supreme Court’s Decision in Henson v. Santander? The podcast became available on June 19.


Jeff Sovern

In addition, Professor Adam Levitin of Georgetown Law Center praised Sovern’s most recent article, to appear in the Rutgers Law Review, on the Credit Slips blog:

Jeff Sovern has an excellent new article about arbitration clauses and class action waivers that uses the Wells Fargo fake account scandal as a test case. He also does a monster job knocking down the Johnston-Zwyicki arbitration study. As Sovern points out, the Johnston-Zywicki study makes a big deal out of some data on a Texas bank’s voluntary refunds of fees in consumer disputes. But as Sovern observes, Johnston and Zywicki aren’t able to differentiate between fees due to bank misconduct and fees due to consumer behavior (account inactivity, overlimit, etc.), much less why the bank refunded the fees in some cases. Highly recommended and relevant in the run-up to the anticipated CFPB arbitration rulemaking.

The article previously drew a favorable notice on the Baseline Scenario blog.

In early June, Professor Sovern was quoted in the Politico newsletter, Morning Money, and by Law360 in an article headlined CFPB Could Avoid Fight With New Debt Collection Plan.  Below are excerpts from these articles:

Morning Money:

St. John’s University School of Law’s Jeff Sovern emails: “You quoted ABA CEO Rob Nichols about Congress taking ‘steps to fix regulatory rules that are hurting banks’ ability to serve their customers. …

“The House bill would also take steps to allow banks to hurt their customers. For example, if it had already been in effect, the CFPB would have been powerless to do anything about the millions of fraudulent accounts Wells Fargo opened. Under the bill, the CFPB would be more accountable to lobbyists than to consumers”


But modernizing debt collection could be different than those other regulations, said Jeff Sovern, a professor at St. John’s University Law School.

“As the director pointed out, a debt collection rule might have advantages for both the industry and consumers over working within a statute that is 40 years old and does not take into account modern communication means. So it is possible that Congress would not employ the CRA against debt collection regulations anyway,” he said.

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