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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges Trump Administration Not To Weaken CFPB’s Investigative Authority

Release date:

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein called on the Trump Administration to respect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) investigative authority. Since its inception, the CFPB has issued civil investigative demands to companies and individuals who may be violating the law and taking advantage of consumers. Civil investigative demands are a critical law enforcement tool that enable the CFPB to carry out 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 CFPB exists to protect people from financial services industry abuse,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “It must have the tools it needs to do that important job. 2008 was not that long ago – we must remember what can happen without a strong watchdog on the job.”

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 today’s letter, Attorney General Stein and 15 other 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.

Joining Attorney General Stein in sending this letter to the CFPB are the Attorneys General of: California, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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