Will Assignee Liability Increase as FTC Seeks Comments on the Holder Rule?

The “Adam’s Rib” of assignee liability ̶ the “Holder Rule” issued by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in 1976 ̶ is up for review. Imposing liability on innocent purchasers of consumer credit loans for the legal violations of the originating creditors has long been a controversial issue in the capital markets. The FTC is seeking public input as it reviews the Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers’ Claims and Defenses, commonly known as the Holder Rule. Although the Rule has not garnered significant attention over its 40-year existence, industry members should consider commenting by the February 12 deadline. Changes to the Holder Rule, including the scope and types of claims and defenses that can be asserted against a holder, could have a material impact on the market. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can also enforce the Holder Rule against covered institutions.

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