July 11, 2011 Articles

State Attorney Generals Strong-Arm Mortgage Lenders By Use of State UDAP StatutesNew

By broadly prohibiting deception, rather than confining the prohibition to a closed list of deceptive tactics, states can attack consumer transactions in a variety of settings.

By Shaun K. Ramey and Jennifer M. Miller

Unfair or deceptive acts or practices (UDAP) laws prohibit deceptive practices in consumer transactions and, in many states, also prohibit unfair or unconscionable practices. By broadly prohibiting deception, rather than confining the prohibition to a closed list of deceptive tactics, states like Massachusetts are able to attack consumer transactions in a variety of settings.[1] Recently, states’ attorneys general have used the UDAP laws to halt foreclosures and to delay the selling or transferring of mortgages.  How this is being done, and whether such actions are appropriate, is the focus of this article.[2]

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