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Consumer Finance 101: What Every Business Should Know

Date: April 2018
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The rapid pace of innovation, particularly in the FinTech ecosystem, has enabled old and new businesses alike to engage with consumers in exciting and revolutionary ways. These developments often implicate the world of consumer finance regulation, an area that can present traps for the unwary. Offering financing or payment plans for goods or services? Withdrawing funds from a customer’s bank account? Sending invoices for your goods or services? Pulling credit or consumer reports? Issuing gift cards? Printing credit card receipts? The list goes on but whatever your business — a Fintech startup, a retailer, a service provider, a lender — you may be engaging in conduct governed by various state and federal consumer finance laws, with strict penalties and the risk of civil litigation for failure to comply. Ultimately, if your business operates at the intersection of consumers and money or credit, even in subtle ways, “consumer finance” law should be on your radar.

This program walks through the fundamentals of consumer finance.

Topics include, among others:

  • An introduction to consumer finance regulation and why it matters to your business; 
  • A survey of key federal consumer finance statutes, highlighting key components, covered conduct, dos and don’ts, state analogs, and examples for implications beyond traditional finance; 
  • Unfair and deceptive acts and practices statutes; 
  • Legal implications of various non-bank/bank lending partnership models; 
  • Various licensing requirements; and 
  • A primer on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
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