Consumer Groups, CFPB Settle Suit Over Consumer Law Taskforce

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has settled a lawsuit filed against it by a group of consumer advocates, who alleged that the previous leadership of the CFPB “stacked” a taskforce that was created to modernize consumer protection laws with representatives from the financial services industry, stipulating that it failed to comply with the requirements of a federal law governing committees that advise federal agencies and adding a disclaimer into the taskforce’s final report.

A copy of the settlement can be accessed by clicking here.

The taskforce was created by former CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, and the agency did announce a call for interested parties to apply to be part of it, but when it was announced, only representatives from the financial services industry were selected. This did not sit well with consumer advocates, who sued the CFPB for allegedly violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which establishes requirements for any committee within the federal government’s Executive Branch, such as ensuring that committees are balanced between different points of view and that meetings are held in public.

Along with stipulating that the taskforce was subject to the FACA and that it failed to comply with the law’s requirements, the CFPB will also release all taskforce records to the plaintiffs starting next month. The CFPB will also make those records available on the taskforce’s webpage.

The CFPB will also amend the taskforce’s final report “to include a disclaimer that the report was produced in violation of FACA” and add a “prominent warning label” in “bold red font.” The CFPB will also add in a disclaimer to the report indicating the lack of compliance with FACA in its creation.

Finally, the CFPB will move the taskforce’s webpage, currently located in the site’s Rules & Policy section, to the Advisory Committees section.

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