The FTC recently issued a report to Congress on its collaboration with state attorneys general.  Titled “Working Together to Protect Consumers: A Study and Recommendations on FTC Collaboration with the State Attorneys General,” the report was issued pursuant to the FTC Collaboration Act of 2021.  The Collaboration Act required the FTC to conduct a study “on facilitating and refining existing efforts with State Attorneys General to prevent, publicize, and penalize frauds and scams being perpetrated on individuals in the United States” and directed the FTC to report the results of the study to Congress together with recommendations for enhancing collaboration between the FTC and state AGs.… Continue Reading

In a blog post published earlier this week titled “The CFPB’s enforcement work in 2023 and what lies ahead,” the CFPB discussed its 2023 enforcement activity and highlighted its plans to expand its enforcement capacity in 2024.

The CFPB indicated that in 2023, it filed 29 enforcement actions and resolved through final orders 6 previously-filed lawsuits.  … Continue Reading

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Federal Reserve Board and CFPB has issued a report on its evaluation of the CFPB’s process for conducting enforcement investigations.  OIG concluded that the CFPB can enhance certain aspects of that process as described below.

In its evaluation, OIG focused on the efficiency of the Office of Enforcement’s process for conducting investigations, and reviewed Enforcement’s practices for tracking and monitoring matters. … Continue Reading

The use of enforcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other federal agencies rather than administrative rulemaking to advance novel legal theories has been widely criticized.  After discussing the meaning of “regulation by enforcement,” we look at examples of the use of regulation by enforcement by the CFPB and other agencies, U.S.… Continue Reading

The Federal Trade Commission has provided its annual report to the CFPB on its enforcement and related activities in 2022 regarding the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Consumer Leasing Act (CLA), and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) (collectively, the “Financial Acts”).  It also released its 2022 annual report on refunds. … Continue Reading

We discuss the industries and practices that have been the subject of recent FTC enforcement focus, including: marketing, servicing, and collection practices involving small business financing such as merchant cash advances; auto add-on product sales practices; product endorsements and reviews; dark patterns; marketing practices of for-profit schools; lead generation; and COVID-related fraud. … Continue Reading

In remarks given on Tuesday to the National Association of State Attorneys General (NAAG), CFPB Director Chopra promoted an aggressive approach to enforcement by both the CFPB and state attorneys general (AGs).

In his most noteworthy remarks, Director Chopra:

  • Identified federal preemption as having played a major role in the 2007-2009 sub-prime mortgage crisis and suggested that the OCC had used preemption “to attack state consumer protection enforcement.” 
Continue Reading

Joined by two CBA representatives who previously served at the CFPB, we discuss the key arguments advanced in the white paper for why rulemaking and informal written guidance are more effective tools than enforcement for the Bureau to use to create new standards and expectations for industry and to carry out its consumer protection mission. … Continue Reading

The Consumer Bankers Association has released a new white paper, “The Case For Regulation Through Rulemaking & Guidance,” that advocates for the CFPB to use rulemaking and informal written guidance in lieu of attempting to create new industry regulatory standards through enforcement.  Attorneys from Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group assisted CBA in preparing the white paper.… Continue Reading

CFPB enforcement activity has already ramped up and the pace is expected to increase with Director Chopra now at the helm.  We look at the areas expected to be the focus of intensified enforcement activity, such as military lending, fair lending, and treatment of LEP consumers, and new areas under consideration by CFPB enforcement staff, such as machine learning models, use of alternative data, and fair lending related to servicing and loss mitigation (particularly in light of the end of pandemic-related forbearances). … Continue Reading