Real Property, Real Problems: Expanding Alaska's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act
Alaska’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) statute was designed to provide broad, robust protections for everyday Alaskan consumers. Astonishingly, Alaska is one of only three states that does not protect Alaskans under its UDAP statute when they fall victim to fraudulent schemes involving real property. The Alaska Supreme Court has consistently upheld this interpretation of the UDAP statute by relying on precedent from over thirty years ago. At the same time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyday Alaskans are more economically vulnerable than ever before, with the atmosphere being ripe for proliferation of fraudulent real property schemes. This Note argues that the court has misapplied precedent and must therefore reevaluate the statute’s application to real property transactions, especially because the statute has been amended and strengthened since the court’s original rulings. If it does not, because of the sheer importance of housing in everyday life, a significant portion of the population could face devastating consequences not only to their economic wellbeing but also to their safety, security, and livelihood.