The Cost of Credit is more evident in today’s economy than ever before. The United States has become a nation of debtors and the nature of the consumer credit marketplace has changed significantly. It has been recognized for centuries that borrowers and lenders often do not enter credit transactions on equal footing. Consumers who, for example, have lost their jobs and who have defaulted on their mortgages may agree to almost any terms to obtain new credit and to avoid losing their homes. Significant limitations exist on the right of creditors to exact any yield they wish from consumers in the most typical credit transactions. Measured against the contractual ceiling, consumers may find themselves the victim of an illegal overcharge. Rebates are required to be properly disclosed in all consumer transactions and the “non-interest” charges tacked onto credit transactions have grown tremendously which may provide ample hiding places for illegal overcharges.
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