FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2018
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Santa Fe, NM – Late yesterday, Attorney General Hector Balderas as part of a coalition of 16 attorneys general 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.
“As New Mexico’s chief law enforcement officer, I am urging President Trump not to roll back consumer protections on hard-working New Mexico families by giving even more unfair advantages to giant, out-of-state corporations,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the nation, and our families deserve aggressive consumer protection agencies at both the state and federal level to help protect their livelihoods from predatory businesses and scammers.”
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, 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.
Joining Attorney General Balderas in sending this letter to the CFPB are the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Please see attached for a copy of the letter.
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