Consumer Groups Ask Judge to Block Use of CFPB Task Force Recommendations

Consumer advocates are asking a federal judge to prohibit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from using any of the recommendations of a controversial consumer law task force.

In documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and other groups ask Judge Jennifer Boal to direct the agency to withdraw any proposals it has issued based on the task force report.

The Trump Administration, under CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger, formed the Consumer Financial Law Task Force to examine laws and regulations dealing with consumer law.

Consumer groups immediately charged that Kraninger had stacked the task force with business advocates all of whom opposed a strict regulatory regime. The groups filed suit, alleging that the task force violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the federal law designed to govern task forces.

They also charged that in appointing the members of the task force, Kraninger had ignored consumer advocates.

“The Bureau never showed any need for the task force, the task force largely conducted its operations in secret, and the task force was composed of a biased slate of individuals with ties to the consumer finance industry that the bureau was established to regulate,” the consumer groups said in a Motion for a Summary Judgement last week.

The task force issued a two-volume report in early January. Many of the group’s recommendations appear to run counter to the regulatory priorities of the Biden Administration, so it is unclear how—or even if–the report will be used by the agency.

The groups also asked that the report be amended to include a disclaimer stating that the report was produced by a task force in violation of federal law.

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