Press Release


Larry Young of Hughes Watters Askanase Offers Perspectives on 

Implications of Dodd-Frank Finance Changes for Consumers


HOUSTON, Texas (March 28, 2011)Larry Young, a partner with the Houston firm of Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P. (www.hwa.com), is offering perspectives on the near- and long-term implications of major changes in consumer finance law and financial industry regulation scheduled to go into effect on July 21 of this year. The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) in July 2010 promised revolutionary changes to the landscape of consumer finance.

“When the rulemaking powers and immediate changes specified by the Act go into effect on July 21, many of the regulations governing standard practices and features of common consumer financial services and products will begin to change significantly,” Young commented.

Young offers both critical insight and explanations in layman’s terms of specific changes consumers might expect from their banks, credit card companies, investment advisors and other financial and credit institutions. He can also address how those changes will affect consumers’ behavior and financial decisions both now and in the future.

Young has been accessed frequently by both local and national media as a reliable source for legal commentary on a variety of consumer finance and bankruptcy topics. He has been quoted by Bloomberg News, CNN Radio, NPR, The Houston Chronicle, KRIV Fox 26 TV and other regional TV stations, The Michigan Business Review, The Journal of Consumer and Commercial Law, the Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine and many other media outlets. Young is also regularly tapped to serve as a speaker and presenter for local and national legal conferences and seminars.

Young explained that a major feature of the Act is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“The CFPB will be a powerful, independent watchdog agency that will have the most significant powers over the consumer financial services industry ever vested in a single federal government agency,” Young said. “Among other powers, the CFPB will have the authority to make and enforce whatever rules it deems necessary to ensure that American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards and other financial products, and to protect consumers from fees, terms and practices that the CFPB deems to be hidden, abusive or deceptive.”

One change that consumers can expect from the Act is the modification of extensive fee structures imposed by many financial institutions. Young explained that banks and credit card companies may be forced to find new ways to recoup lost revenue from old fee structures shut down by new regulations.

“There is a good chance that new regulations created by the CFPB will increase the cost of business for many financial institutions. These organizations will have to divert more resources to new compliance and financial reporting rules; at the same time, they will face the loss of revenue from being forced to comply with new regulations on their current fee structures. Hence, financial institutions may find creative ways to make up for these lost revenues, which could result in increased costs to consumers,” Young noted.

The so-called Volcker Rule is another component of the Act specifically aimed to protect consumers’ assets. The rule significantly limits large banks from owning or having affiliations with specific kinds of “risky” investments that create systemic risk for the banking system. The presupposition behind the Volcker Rule is that specific kinds of speculative investments and proprietary trading were ultimately instrumental in the large and small bank failures and ensuing economic recession of the past few years.

For supplemental information or to schedule an interview with Young, please contact Laura Pennino for Hughes Watters Askanase at 281-286-9398 or lp@penninoandpartners.com.

For a full bio of Larry Young or for more information about Hughes Watters Askanase, please visit www.hwa.com.

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