Consumer Law and Policy Blog Reports: “Grand Theft Auto, or Preemption Run Amok”

Consumer Law and Policy Blog Reports:

In a case now before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chase Bank asserts that it may repossess an auto loan borrower’s car without complying with consumer protections in state commercial law. The Maryland District Court found for Chase Bank, concluding that 1) the National Bank Act preempts state repossession notice law and 2) Chase was not bound by the mandatory loan contract term specifically incorporating Maryland repossession law, because as an assignee of the contract, Chase had not voluntarily agreed (!) to the choice of law provision.

The opening brief of the appellants is here and the lower court opinion is here. The logic of the lower court opinion is remarkable. It seems to suggest that even the repossession rules of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code could be preempted by the National Bank Act and OCC regulations. What is truly extraordinary, however, is the idea that a national bank could on the one hand invoke the privilege, created by the UCC and other state law, to repossess collateral without judicial process, while on the other hand disregarding the restrictions and consumer protections that accompany that privilege. If the entirety of state commercial and debt collection law conflicts with the National Bank Act, then there was no state law basis for Chase to seize Ms. Epps’ car, and the purported repossession was nothing more than grand theft.

Our Oak Brook, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue.

The Chicago consumer rights attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Lubin Austermuehle attorney Peter Lubin has been selected by Super Lawyers as one of the top class-action attorneys in Illinois as rated by their peers.

Our Wheaton and Aurora consumer attorneys provide assistance in fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Chicago consumer protection lawyers who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.

Contact Information