Disclosure as a Consumer Protection

  • Thomas A. Durkin
  • Gregory Elliehausen

Abstract

The common element of the federal government’s consumer-protection measures for financial services in the United States is the requirement that institutions disclose designated information to consumers in specified formats at required times. Disclosures are so central to the purpose of some financial consumer protections that we might properly call them “information protections.” The Truth in Lending Act (1968) is probably the most notable example, but others include the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (1975), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (1975), the Consumer Leasing Act (1976), the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (1978), and the Truth in Savings Act (1991). The main thrust of each of these laws is mandatory, designated disclosures. Moreover, even those federal financial consumer-protection laws that are not primarily information protections contain significant disclosure provisions. Statutes like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (1971), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974), the Community Reinvestment Act (1977), and the Expedited Funds Availability Act (1987) largely entail direct regulation of the market behavior of institutions, but they also rely on disclosures to advance their objectives.

Keywords

Depression Income Marketing Assure Expense 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Durkin
    • 1
  • Gregory Elliehausen
    • 2
  1. 1.Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve SystemUSA
  2. 2.Credit Research Center, McDonough School of BusinessGeorgetown UniversityUSA

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