CFPB Argues that States Can Pursue Parallel Enforcement Claims

Aug 30, 2019Federal Regulation, Litigation, News

In an amicus brief filed yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) told the Third Circuit that state attorneys general can pursue enforcement claims that are parallel to enforcement claims brought by the CFPB.

The amicus brief was filed in support of Pennsylvania’s Attorney General (AG) in the case, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Navient Corp. The state’s AG claims that Navient violated state consumer protection laws and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). 

The defendant claims that the Pennsylvania cannot pursue their enforcement actions regarding the CFPA violations because the CFPB sued Navient in the same court nine months before the state AG did over the same issues. 

In an earlier ruling, the lower court disagreed with Navient’s claim that the CFPA “does not permit state AGs to pursue such claims after the CFPB has filed identical CFPA claims.” The third circuit must now decide whether to reverse or agree with the district court’s decision. 

In their amicus brief, the CFPB argued that “Section 5552 affirmatively authorizes states to bring claims enforcing the CFPA. Nothing in that section prohibits such actions merely because, as happened here, they are similar to claims that the Bureau has also brought.” The CFPB added, “There is no merit to any of Navient’s arguments. Moreover, such an inference would be particularly inappropriate because when Congress wants to preclude parallel state and federal claims with respect to a statute both can enforce, it does so specifically, not by inference.”

The Third Circuit is expected to issue a ruling over the next several months. 

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