Bureau issues first request for ‘evidence’ about performing its ‘proper, appropriate functions’

Civil investigative demands (CIDs) issued by the federal consumer protection bureau are the subject of the first “request for information” released by the consumer agency as part of the agency’s “call for evidence” about its “proper and appropriate functions.”

In a release Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said the RFI will “provide an opportunity for the public to submit feedback and suggest ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.”

Comments will be due in 60 days, according to the draft Federal Register notice attached to the release.

Last week, Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney said the agency would be issuing the call for “evidence” of the agency’s functions in performing its role through the RFIs to give the public an opportunity to provide feedback and suggest ways to “improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.”

According to the notice released Wednesday, the bureau is issuing the RFI to “to seek public input regarding the exercise of it authority to issue CIDs, including from entities who have received one or more CIDs from the bureau, or members of the bar who represent these entities.”

A CID is a subpoena-like tool often used by consumer protection offices that tends to be expansive, typically seeking specified documents, according to the American Bar Association. “The CID often provides an extensive list of items or documents to produce and may pose interrogatories or testimony under oath,” the ABA wrote in its State AG’s Issuing Subpoenas: The Whys and Wherefores of Civil Investigative Demands. “A lawsuit is not required; as the name implies, it is served during an investigation. The receiving party may not be the investigation target, but frequently is. The investigation does not automatically become a lawsuit, but frequently can.

While the notice concedes that issuing CIDs is “an essential tool” for enforcing federal consumer financial law, it states that the RFI is an attempt to “better understand” how its CID processes may be updated, streamlined or revised. Additionally, the notice states, the RFI will help the bureau understand “how to align the Bureau’s CID processes with those of other agencies with similar authorities.”

The bureau said it is looking for specific suggestions about any potential updates or changes to its CID practices regarding the development, issuance or modification of CIDs, including, “in as much detail as possible, the potential update or modification, supporting data or other information such as cost information or information concerning alignment with the processes of other agencies with similar authorities.”

The bureau said it is also seeking specific identification of “any aspects of the Bureau’s CID processes that should not be modified, including supporting data or other information such as cost information or information concerning alignment with the processes of other agencies with similar authorities.”

Request for Information Regarding Bureau Civil Investigative Demands and Associated Processes

ABA article: State AG’s Issuing Subpoenas: The Whys and Wherefores of Civil Investigative Demands

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.