Debts, Disasters, and Delinquencies: A Case for Placing a Mandatory Force Majeure Provision into Consumer Credit Agreements


This article addresses inequities in the apportionment of losses that arise when traditional rules of consumer finance are applied to enforce payment obligations that accrue during and after catastrophes. Disasters lead inevitably to job losses, property destruction, inhibited access to homes and workplaces, and problems with debt repayment. In the wake of such devastation, fees and interest charges mount, and payment defaults increase. The author argues that hardships and social distress can be mitigated, and losses more equitably allocated, by mandating the inclusion of a force majeure provision in consumer agreements.

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