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Post date: April 26 2018

A.G. Schneiderman To Trump Administration: Don't Weaken CFPB's Investigative Authority

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

April 26, 2018

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman


Coalition of 16 Attorneys General Vow to Continue Enforcing Consumer Protection Laws

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today joined a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in urging the Trump Administration to respect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) investigative authority. Since its inception, the CFPB’s mission has been to protect American consumers and hold fraudulent actors accountable. One of the Bureau’s most critical tools used to carry out this mission is its ability to issue civil investigative demands to companies and individuals who may be violating the law and taking advantage of consumers. Civil investigative demands enable the CFPB to dutifully execute investigations by obtaining documents, financial records, and company policies and procedures. However, the Trump Administration is now considering weakening the CFPB’s use of civil investigative demands.

“The Trump Administration’s move to limit the CFPB’s basic investigative authority will only allow bad actors to exploit consumers – and get away free of penalty,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “If Washington refuses to stand up for consumers, my fellow Attorneys General and I won’t hesitate to enforce consumer protection laws and protect those we serve.”

On January 26, 2018, the CFPB began a process that could lead to the curtailment of its investigative authority. In a Request for Information, the CFPB acknowledges the important role that civil investigative demands have played in protecting consumers, but notes that the demands impose burdens on those being investigated. Therefore, the CFPB is seeking public comment on “how best to achieve meaningful burden reduction.”

In the letter sent to Acting Director Mulvaney, the Attorneys General underscore that:

  • The CFPB’s implementation of its investigative authority was non-controversial and based on established law enforcement practices;
  • The legislative grant of civil investigative demand authority allows agencies to fulfill their mandates;
  • Judicial supervision ensures that the rights of those who receive civil investigative demands are respected; and
  • The CFPB has used its investigative authority responsibly and effectively.

The letter sent today includes the Attorneys General and officials of California, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.