Prof. Chris Odinet presented his research on the rise of online marketplace lenders at the first annual Consumer Identities in Digital Culture symposium at St. John’s University (SJU) in Queens, NY on Friday, March 28, 2017.
The conference was hosted by SJU’s Institute for International Communication and focused on transdisciplinary interpretations and critical analyses of consumption and consumer identity, broadly defined across emerging media and digital landscapes. Prof. Odinet’s presentation centered on the consumer experience with the rise of what are known as marketplace lending firms. Marketplace lender is the name given to certain online companies that extend credit (mostly through small business and consumer loans) using mathematical algorithms to discern a borrower’s credit worthiness. Odinet conducted a multi-year study of consumer complaints submitted to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau relative to these companies. Using these data, he draws out some of the legal issues facing consumers who take out loans with these companies. Odinet then analyzes these issues against the backdrop of existing consumer protection laws and concludes by making industry and policy recommendations for how this sector might better serve borrowers. His law review article on these topics, titled Consumer BitCredit and Marketplace Lending, is forthcoming in the Alabama Law Review.
Odinet joined the Law Center faculty in 2013 and currently holds the Horatio C. Thompson endowed professorship in law. He is a frequent speaker on issues related to mortgage finance, real estate, and consumer financial protection. He is a 2016-18 Louisiana Bar Foundation Scholar-in-Residence and recently was appointed as an inaugural real property scholar with the American College of Real Estate Lawyers/American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. Odinet is also one of Louisiana’s four delegates to the Uniform Law Commission, a national state law reform body. View his scholarship by clicking here.