Financial Services/CFPB

financial lawA federal district court judge in Atlanta has granted five defendants’ motions for terminating sanctions against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the agency’s conduct in connection with its Rule 30(b)(6) depositions. Venable attorneys represented one of those defendants, and were the principal authors of the briefs leading to the sanctions.

The court agreed with the defendants’ arguments that the claims pleaded against them must be dismissed because of the CFPB’s refusal to produce a knowledgeable and non-evasive Rule 30(b)(6) witness. The court described the refusal as a “pattern of conduct” that “demonstrate[d] a willful disregard of the Court’s instructions.” The court agreed with the defendants that the CFPB’s misconduct warranted striking all counts pleaded against them.


Continue Reading CFPB Sanctioned for Bad Faith Conduct

financial crime

“Credit card laundering” or “factoring” refers to the practice of processing credit card transactions for one company through the merchant processing account of another company. In recent years, the FTC has sued several companies for engaging in this practice or assisting allegedly fraudulent merchants to launder card payments through multiple processing accounts. On July 28,

financial lawBack in February we blogged about Acting Chair Ohlhausen’s first keynote address in which she outlined her three consumer protection priorities. Consistent with those priorities, in April, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its agenda to eliminate wasteful, unnecessary regulations and processes. Within the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, the FTC’s goals included an effort to streamline demands for information in investigations and improve transparency in its investigations.

Last week, the FTC announced process reforms following up on the Ohlhausen agenda. In a press release, the FTC described Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) process reforms addressing the use of Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs)—which are administrative subpoenas used to collect information and documentation in investigations. These reforms, designed to minimize burden and increase transparency, include:


Continue Reading Change Starts Within: FTC Process Reforms Address CID Practices

GavelOn Monday, July 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a final rule – the “Arbitration Agreements Rule” – regulating arbitration agreements in contracts for certain core consumer financial products and services. Venable has been monitoring the development of this rule, and our past coverage can be seen in a webinar and a blog post.

In prepared remarks, CFPB Director Richard Cordray explained the Bureau’s reasons for ultimately promulgating this regulation, and he stated that such clauses “force consumers either to give up or to go it alone – usually over relatively small amounts that may not be worth pursuing on one’s own. Including these clauses in contracts allows companies to sidestep the judicial system, avoid big refunds, and continue to pursue profitable practices that may violate the law and harm large numbers of consumers.”


Continue Reading CFPB Issues Final “Arbitration Agreements Rule:” New CFPB Rule Bans Class Action Bars in Arbitration Clauses

In this issue we discuss that under the cloud of speculation hanging over the CFPB they continue to launch supervisory examinations and enforcement investigations, and also held a public event on June 22 discussing the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Also in this issue is commentary around a top state regulator issued a reminder to

student loan debtLots of folks were wondering whether at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it was “School’s Out” with a shortage of Commissioners and a new administration in the White House. A recent case involving the telemarketing of student loan debt relief services makes clear that, at least in certain areas, school is still in session. The case also highlights the growing regulatory scrutiny on the student loan space.

In obtaining a temporary restraining order shutting down a group of related companies, the FTC alleged that in “many instances,” the companies failed to deliver any of the promised services. Specifically, according to the FTC, the defendants collected upfront and monthly fees in exchange for enrolling consumers in student loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment programs and to improve consumers’ credit scores. The FTC found that many consumers received no services and many went into further debt.


Continue Reading Student Loan Market in FTC’s Cross Hairs

cash and credit cardsA circuit split regarding the SEC’s administrative law judges, an internal CFPB playbook and memo on their examination process, and a recent field hearing on small business lending are at the forefront of the May 18 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we highlight the circuit split between the Tenth Circuit

Members of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Practice, along with Paula-Rose Stark, a former attorney at the CFPB, now with Chain Bridge Partners, LLC, ‎recently discussed the current and evolving state of federal and state consumer financial protection law and policy. They outlined what you and your company need to know about what’s ahead and shared their experiences from the front lines, offering insights and strategies to help companies navigate the evolving legal and political landscape.

Topics included:

  • The impact of the current political climate on enforcement actions;
  • Interacting, negotiating, and litigating with the CFPB;
  • Tips for managing risk due to enforcement investigations and actions;
  • Crisis management strategies;
  • New administration: prospects for reform and leadership changes;
  • Examination: lessons learned and preparing for the future; and
  • CFPB, State Attorneys General, and other enforcement agency developments, and what’s next.


Continue Reading Consumer Finance Enforcement Activity in a New Administration

CFPB Enforcement Policies and Procedures Manual 2.0Despite facing significant legal challenges and a shifting political landscape, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is virtually unrestrained in its ability to launch investigations and threaten enforcement actions. We’ve obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request the most recent official CFPB Enforcement Policies and Procedures Manual Version 2.0. The Enforcement Policies

financial lawBusiness lending, negative option programs, and enterprise risk management are at the forefront of the April 13 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we discuss CFPB Director Cordray’s recent appearance before Congress where he noted that the CFPB has started engaging in supervisory activity regarding small business lending.


Continue Reading Consumer Financial Services Update