Kathleen Keest

Practice Areas

  • Consumer Financial Services

Until Ms. Keest’s retirement, she served as a Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, in Durham, North Carolina, the research and policy affiliate of the Center for Community Self-Help, where she worked primarily on predatory lending, preemption and regulatory reform issues.  (Self-Help is a non-profit community development financial institution.)  From 1996 to 2004, she was an Assistant Attorney General in Iowa, where she served as Deputy Administrator of the Iowa Consumer Credit Code.   Her activities there included enforcement and policy work on consumer finance, including predatory lending issues.  She acted as one of the lead counsels on the landmark multi-state attorney general-state financial regulators’ case against Household,International for its mortgage lending practices. 

Prior to her service with the Iowa attorney general’s office, she was a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center for eleven years, where she co-authored the publications Truth in Lending, Usury and Consumer Credit Regulation, and The Cost of Credit: Regulation and Legal Challenges, as well as the consumer credit newsletter, and contributed to its volume Credit Discrimination.  She has been a contributor to The Business Lawyer, and Consumer Finance Law Quarterly, and co-authored a 2000 law review article on the two-tiered financial services system, and frequently lectures on financial services issues.  As a member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council in 1990 - 1992, she was a member of its Consumer Credit Committee and chair of its Deposit and Delivery Systems Committee.  She is a member and fellow of the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, and served as chair of the committee’s Interest Rate Subcommittee from 1991 – 1994, was a charter member of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, and has consulted with the South African Department of Trade and Industry on credit reform in that country.  She is the recipient of the Vern Countryman Award (1999) from the National Consumer Law Center, was named Advocate of the Year by the National Association of Credit Agency Administrators in 2002, and received the William Proxmire Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association Section of Business Law
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers

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