CFPB: Investigated Parties Can Earn Credit toward Mitigation (June 26, 2013)
June 26, 2013
Self-policing, self-reporting, remediation and cooperation are four factors which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will take into account when deciding whether some form of mitigation credit is warranted in an enforcement investigation, according to a new bulletin issued by the agency.
However, those seeking such credit need to go well above and beyond the statutory minimum in those areas, the CFPB said. A regulated party’s “conduct must substantially exceed the standard of what is required by law in its interactions with the Bureau,” to be considered worthy of credit in an investigation. Such mitigation, when awarded, could be in the form of: a resolution without a public enforcement action; a reduction in the severity or number of violations pursued; or a reduction in the sanctions or penalties sought by the CFPB in an enforcement action.
However, the CFPB stressed in the bulletin that such mitigation remains entirely at its own discretion. “[T]he fact that a party may argue it has satisfied some or even all of the elements set forth in this guidance will not foreclose the Bureau from bringing an enforcement action or seeking any remedy if it believes such a course is necessary and appropriate,” the CFPB said, adding that there may be circumstances in which conduct is so egregious or harmful that no mitigation can be warranted.
In other CFPB news this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, which could indirectly affect the validity of President Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB, along with any actions taken by the agency since Cordray took over on Jan. 4, 2012.