House Republicans: CFPB May Be Colluding with States

Aug 1, 2022Federal Regulation, News

In a letter sent to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra last week, three Republicans who sit on the House Financial Services Committee allege that the CFPB’s director may be colluding with states contrary to the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The letter was signed by the Committee’s Ranking Member, Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).

“While Congress intended for the CFPB to enforce federal consumer financial laws and protect consumers in the marketplace, it did not intend for the CFPB to intimidate companies by conspiring with state agencies to pursue duplicative enforcement actions,” the letter reads.

“It is clear that state attorneys general may enforce the CFPA in cases where the CFPB has not,” they later write. “But the statute does not allow for a state attorney general to become a party to an existing CFPB enforcement action. It is therefore inappropriate for the CFPB to recruit a state attorney general that is not otherwise investigating a company, to pursue enforcement as a means of intimidation.”

The authors then detail that Director Chopra spoke with attorneys general throughout the country on 23 occasions between October 12, 2021 and April 30, 2022. He also spoke with the National Association of Attorneys General on December 7, 2021, “during which time [he] encouraged state attorneys general to bring actions under the ‘Consumer Financial Protection Act, particularly when federal protections are stronger than state statutes.’”

In response to these allegations, the three Republican members are requesting a variety of documents and information regarding the CFPB’s authority and actions, including documents and communications. They have requested a response by no later than August 12.

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