‘Administrative adjudication’ rules, procedures are second request for ‘evidence’ by consumer bureau

“Administrative adjudications” are the subject of the second “request for information” (RFI) issued by the federal consumer protection agency in its own search of “evidence” of whether or not it is accomplishing its mission.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said Wednesday that it issued the second in what it has called a series of RFIs to “better understand the benefits and impacts of its (the agency’s) use of administrative adjudications, and how its existing process may be improved.”

The RFI refers to the agency’s rules regarding the general conduct of administrative adjudication proceedings, which the law setting up the agency (Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010) instructed the bureau to do.

The rules cover the initiation of such proceedings and prehearing rules, hearings, decisions and appeals, and temporary cease-and-desist proceedings.

According to the CFPB, to date, there have been eight administrative adjudication proceedings under the rules that were not immediately resolved by the issuance of a consent order. Six of the proceedings, the agency said, were settled during the course of the adjudication, one proceeding is pending, and one proceeding has resulted in a final decision.

Earlier this month (Jan. 17), CFBP Acting Director Mick Mulvaney announced the agency would issue the series of RFIs to unearth “evidence” that the agency is fulfilling its “proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.” He said the RFIs would provide the public with an opportunity to provide feedback and suggest ways to “improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.”

A week later, the agency issued the first of the RFIs, on civil investigative demands (CIDs), for a 60-day comment period. According to the bureau, the request is aimed at seeking “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.”

The RFI issued Wednesday said the bureau is seeking information to “improve its administrative adjudication processes, including the Rules, while continuing to achieve the Bureau’s statutory purposes and objectives.”

“The Bureau in the past has brought cases in the administrative setting in accordance with applicable law,” the agency’s RFI states. “The Bureau understands, however, that the administrative adjudication process can result in undue burdens, impacts, or costs on the parties subject to these proceedings. Members of the public are likely to have useful information and perspectives on the benefits and impacts of the Bureau’s use of administrative adjudications, as well as existing administrative adjudication processes and the Rules.”

CFPB Issues Request For Information On Administrative Adjudications