Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued the first in a series of periodic bulletins it plans to issue on the policies and priorities of its Office of Enforcement.
Under CFPB Bulletin 2011-04 (Enforcement), the Bureau’s enforcement staff will have the discretion (but not an obligation) to notify potential enforcement targets of potential violations and give them an opportunity to respond before the Bureau recommends or commences an enforcement action. The Bureau will not give pre-enforcement notices if it deems them inappropriate, such as where urgent action is required or in cases of ongoing fraud.
Responding parties will be asked to provide legal and relevant policy arguments why an enforcement action should not be commenced. Any factual assertions must be made only under oath by a person with personal knowledge of the asserted facts. Responses are discoverable by third parties.
The bulletin prescribes format requirements (8.5″ x 11″ paper, double spaced with 12-point or larger type) and length limitations (40 pages) for all responses. Any response must be received by the Bureau’s staff conducting the investigation not later than 14 calendar days after the notice is given.
If the Office of Enforcement ultimately recommends enforcement action, copies of the responses received will be included with the recommendation.