Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Attempts to Regulate Telecom

by James Baldinger, Elizabeth Bohn | Carlton Fields Jorden Burt

Since it opened in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“the Bureau” or “CFPB”) has issued thousands of pages of regulations, mostly directed at the home mortgage industry, and aggressively exercised its authority to enforce consumer financial protection law. Dozens of enforcement lawsuits and administrative proceedings filed by the Bureau against major players in the credit card, mortgage, real estate settlement, auto, and debt collection industries have resulted in assessment of more than $1 billion in penalties and refunds against the targeted companies, along with imposition of costly modifications to industry business practices and continued reporting requirements.

Now, based on a recent action filed against wireless service provider Sprint, it appears the Bureau may be attempting to extend its reach beyond industries that offer “consumer financial products and services.” Indeed, the Bureau’s position in the lawsuit implies that telecom may be subject to CFPB enforcement, despite the fact that the industry does not sell “consumer financial products services,” simply because it charges consumers for services. We suggest that this was not the intent of the statute that created it, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 (“Dodd Frank”).

Read Complete Article

Leave a Reply

2 + twenty =