According to a Bloomberg report, the Chippewa-Cree tribe in Montana, as grounds for objecting to a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) issued by the CFPB, has challenged the validity of Director Richard Cordray’s recess appointment. 

The tribe reportedly has asserted that because the CFPB does not have a validly-appointed director, it cannot exercise its supervisory or enforcement authority over non-banks.  The report states that Bloomberg obtained documents indicating that the CID was issued to companies operated by the tribe in connection with an investigation of small-dollar loan products. (According to the report, two other tribes received similar CIDs.) 

The CIDs were reported to have been served last year.  Assuming the Chippewa-Cree tribe filed its petition objecting to the CID within the time frame mandated by CFPB regulations (which is no more than 20 days of when a CID is served), we find it interesting that the petition does not appear on the CFPB’s website.  The website shows the filing dates of petitions to set aside or modify CIDs and the dates on which the CFPB’s decisions on the petitions were issued (with links to the petitions and decisions).  As to the three petitions listed, the CFPB issued its decisions within approximately one to three months of the date the petition was filed.  We also find it interesting that the CFPB has not yet brought enforcement actions against the tribes.