On December 2, 2015, the CFPB denied a petition for modification of a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) filed by UniRush, LLC. In doing so, the CFPB reinforced its view that such petitions are disfavored. However, in denying the petition, the CFPB actually gave UniRush the relief it sought – additional time to provide a proposed production schedule – by ordering UniRush to provide the requested production schedule within 10 days of the order denying the petition.
The CID UniRush sought to modify contained 56 requests. The CFPB issued the CID on October 27, 2015, with a response date of November 10, 2015 – merely two weeks after service. Based on our review of UniRush’s petition and the attached correspondence, UniRush appears to have made an effort to meet and confer with the CFPB regarding the scope of the CID and its need for additional time to respond. However, according to the CFPB’s order denying the petition, the problem that led to the petition was that UniRush never outlined a plan for completing its production in response to the CID.
We know from our prior CID investigations that the CFPB expects a high degree of specificity in connection with requests to modify CIDs, routinely requesting information relating to when specific requests will be responded to, dates by which productions will begin and end, etc. However, here, it was exactly that information that UniRush could not provide because it needed time to interview the custodians regarding the sources of responsive information and formulate a realistic production plan. Therefore, UniRush was in a difficult position in that it simply could not provide the information it needed to the CFPB in order to obtain the requested relief.
Notably, even in denying the petition, the CFPB did provide UniRush some of what it originally requested – time to complete its investigation and an opportunity to further confer on the scope and timing of its response. Hopefully, this is because the CFPB recognizes the position UniRush was put in as a result of the short response date. At the end of the day, consumers and companies alike are best served by efficient, streamlined investigations that avoid formulaic, position-based responses from either side that can contribute to delay and confusion.