New Financial Reform Law Affects Education Community

On 21 July 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act or the Act). In addition to its sweeping reforms to the financial services industry, the Dodd-Frank Act affects the higher education community in three key ways. First, the jurisdiction of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by the Act specifically extends to any person or entity that offers "private education loans." Second, the law imposes new restrictions on the interchange fees that payment card networks may charge to merchants — including universities — in debit card transactions. Third, payment card networks will no longer be able to impose certain restrictions on universities regarding establishing minimum or maximum transaction amounts as a condition for accepting credit cards for payment, and regarding offering discounts for payment by cash rather than by credit card.

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