The response of sympathetic lawmakers to perceived abuses in the consumer credit field is almost totally predictable. One group will urge the enactment of disclosure rules so that well-informed consumers will be able to look out for themselves in the marketplace. Another group will urge the passage of laws directly prohibiting the distasteful practice, or mandating a corrective mechanism. Both groups will then engage in endless rhetorical debate over the costs and benefits of either approach, the infringements on competition and marketplace freedom, and the burdens on small business.
All of these responses take for granted that the disappearance of evil will automatically and immediately follow upon the passage of a statute declaring evil unlawful. That is, the legislators too often assume their fiats will be self-executing, or largely so. Relatively little, and sometimes no, attention is given to establishing enforcement mechanisms that will effectively translate legislative wishes into marketplace realities. The burden of this paper, therefore, is to review some signifi-' cant developments and trends in consumer credit enforcement by public agencies. Administrative supervision is, to be sure, but one approach to enforcement, but one which this writer believes to have a reviving and vital role in safeguarding consumers in credit transactions.
Ralph J. Rohner, New Directions in the Enforcement of Consumer Credit Laws: From Public to Private and Back Again, 3 OKLA. CITY U. L. REV. 581 (1979).