Bureau’s dozen RFIs rack up 200 comments so far; first period closes Thursday

With the first due date coming this week, at least 200 comment letters have been logged so far in the federal consumer financial protection agency’s quest to elicit “evidence” on how the agency is doing its job, based on results posted by a government website devoted to receiving regulatory comments for federal agencies.

Regulations.gov reports that it has received 200 comment letters (as of Monday) in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) 12 “requests for information” (RFIs) first issued by the agency in January; the final RFI in the series was issued April 11. Twelve total RFIs were issued by the agency.

The RFIs were issued following an announcement Jan. 17 by 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.”

The first RFI issued (the week after Mulvaney issued his call) focused on “civil investigative demands” (CIDs) issued by the bureau. (According to the American Bar Association, CID is a subpoena-like tool often used by consumer protection offices that tends to be expansive, typically seeking specified documents.)

That RFI has, so far, generated the most comments reported by Regulations.gov, with 61 posted to date. It’s also the first RFI to have its comment period close (on Thursday, April 26). The original comment period for the RFI was only 60 days, but the agency in March extended the period by another 30 days.

Other leaders in the CFPB RFI comment tally include: bureau financial education programs (23 letters received); “Adopted Regulations and New Rulemaking Authorities” (21); public reporting practices of consumer complaint information (19); and consumer complaint and consumer inquiry handling processes (15).

According to the website, the most comments it has received this year (also as of Monday) are the 407,940 lodged on a rule proposed by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation: Rescission or Revision of Certain Requirements.” The comment period closed Monday; it opened Feb. 22.

The complete tally of comments received on the 12 RFIs from CFPB, by issue and comments-due date as of Monday, is:

26-Apr Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) 61
7-May Rules of Practice for Adjudication Proceedings 3
14-May Enforcement Processes 14
21-May Supervision Program 8
29-May External Engagements 11
4-Jun Public Reporting Practices of Consumer Complaint Information 19
7-Jun Bureau Rulemaking Processes 12
19-Jun Adopted Regulations and New Rulemaking Authorities 21
25-Jun Inherited Regulations and Inherited Rulemaking Authorities 9
2-Jul Guidance and Implementation Support 4
9-Jul Bureau Financial Education Programs 23
16-Jul Consumer Complaint and Consumer Inquiry Handling Processes 15