The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has taken two actions to encourage state governments to bring enforcement actions for alleged violations of any federal consumer financial laws enforced by the CFPB. First, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule delineating state governments’ authority to enforce federal consumer protection laws. Second, the CFPB began issuing Consumer Financial Protection Circulars, guidance directed at state attorneys general and regulators.
The CFPB issued an interpretive rule delineating states’ authority to bring civil suit against alleged (i) unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices; (ii) violations the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z and (iii) the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Regulation F. The rule further clarifies that states may bring or continue enforcement actions under federal law even if the CFPB is pursing the same action against the same entity. The interpretive rule is silent on whether states can pursue remedies potentially unavailable to them under federal consumer protection law or their own state laws, such as civil monetary penalties. Read More