Consumer Protection Clinic – 7030
The Consumer Protection Clinic represents individuals who are victims of marketplace fraud or who have disputes regarding consumer credit, debt collection, predatory lending or similar matters. The Clinic also assists legislators, regulators, and advocacy groups in policy matters, such as drafting consumer protection legislation.
The Clinic is a two semester course open to second and third year students. Students receive four credits for the first semester and three credits for the second semester. Students attend class for three hours per week in the first semester and for one hour per week in the spring semester. Classroom sessions teach basic concepts in consumer protection law.
Students generally are assigned at least one case to be handled individually. For example, the Clinic regularly files federal district court actions alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Clinic students also are assigned a policy project or more complex case handled in teams of two or more students. Examples of cases include the following:
• Representing homeowners with predatory mortgage loans and rescinding the loan under the Truth in Lending Act, including defending the homeowner’s right to rescind in a federal court case.
• A team of three students produced a report on payday lending regulation, helped to draft legislation amending the payday lending statute in Minnesota, and testified before Minnesota House and Senate committees hearing the legislation.
• Co-counsel with Minneapolis Legal Society on a class action case alleging improper collection practices by a buyer of credit card debt.
For the 2014-2015 school year, students also will be advising clients on student loan matters on referral by credit counselors at Lutheran Social Services.