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UHLC's Hawkins to present title lending research at Yale forum

Paper selected from nearly 200 submissions for annual event.

Jim HawkinsMay 13, 2013 – University of Houston Law Center Professor Jim Hawkins has been selected to present his paper on car title lending at the 14th Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in New Haven on June 15.

"I was really surprised that the paper was selected and feel extremely honored to participate in the event."

Hawkins' paper, coauthored with two economists at Vanderbilt University, "Dude, Where's My Car Title?  The Law, Behavior, and Economics of Title Lending Markets," was among 18 papers chosen from nearly 200 submissions for the annual event in which senior scholars comment on the work of more junior scholars.

The professor's paper reports the results of a survey of more than 400 title lending customers across three states that obtained information about customers' demographic and behavioral characteristics.  Hawkins explained that the goal of the paper is to reframe the title lending debate: "Instead of focusing on the risks and consequences of borrowers' cars being repossessed, as the vast bulk of the literature does, we argue that the primary problem that most borrowers face is underestimating the true cost of taking out a title loan," Hawkins said.

Hawkins joined the Law Center faculty in 2008 after working with the firm of Fulbright & Jaworski and clerking for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  His research and teaching interests include consumer borrowing, the fringe banking industry, bankruptcy, and secured credit.

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