De La Cruz v. Wachovia Dealer Services, Inc.

De La Cruz v. Wachovia Dealer Services, Inc.

Public Justice is co-counsel in this appeal of a trial court decision finding that federal banking law preempts a California statute requiring that consumers be given accurate notice when their cars are repossessed. Public Justice argues that there is no federal preemption (1) because the lender, a national bank, contractually agreed to comply with the state consumer protection law, and (2) because the federal regulation at issue — as well as a century of U.S. Supreme Court precedent — expressly preserves from preemption state laws that govern debt collection. Public Justice also notes that a strong presumption against preemption applies, even in the context of national banks, whenever states legislate in an area of historic state presence.

The case is currently pending on appeal until a settlement is finalized.

Public Justice’s Claire Prestel is working with Michael Lindsey of San Diego and Carol Brewer and Andrew Ogilvie of Anderson, Ogilvie & Brewer LLP in San Francisco. Former Brayton-Thornton Attorney Melanie Hirsch also worked on this case.

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