Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

Some Implications for Consumer Law on DOJ’s Policy Against Converting Guidance Into Binding Rules

by Jeff Sovern Last month, the Department of Justice issued a policy that as DOJ describes it in its announcement of the policy, "prohibits the Department of Justice from using its civil enforcement authority to convert agency guidance documents into binding rules." Times coverage is here. What implications does this have for consumer law? Strictly speaking, […]

FTC Consumer Bureau Acting Director Pahl: FTC Will Continue Going After the “Worst of the Worst”

by Jeff Sovern AccountsRecovery.Net reports on an interview, largely about debt collection, with the Acting Director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, Thomas Pahl, at a Receivables Management Association conference this week. Some excerpt: “It’s difficult to speak about where the agency is headed given the organization is changing,” Pahl said during his session, adding that […]

Robocallers Overwhelming FTC and Do-Not-Call List

WaPo has a report, headlined How robo-callers outwitted the government and completely wrecked the Do Not Call list, reporting that the FTC receives 19,000 complaints per day from people on the Do-Not-Call list about robocallers. The FTC not only does not have the resources to do much about it, but when it tries, its efforts are […]

Law360 Reports Trump Nominates Joseph Simons to Chair FTC and Rohit Chopra to Serve as Commissioner

by Jeff Sovern Rohit Chopra, of the Consumer Federation of America, recently served at the CFPB and obviously has experience with consumer protection issues. Simons, who formerly served as director of the FTC's competition bureau, is currently at Paul Weiss. I don't know what experience, if any, he has on the types of consumer protection […]

Law360 Interview with Acting Head of FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau Thomas Pahl

Here. Excerpt: In the area of national advertising, Pahl listed three priorities that indicate a return to a more traditional, conservative approach to law enforcement. First, he said the agency will focus on “fraud” and “quasi-fraud,” similar to the agency’s historic approach to deceptive weight loss and dietary supplement claims. A second priority is health […]

Schumer Recommends Rohit Chopra for FTC Seat

The HIll has the story here. Chopra has a strong record of protecting consumers, having been the student loan ombudsman at the CFPB, and is currently at the Consumer Federation of America (we quoted him just last week).  The FTC currently has two commissioners in place out of five, one from each major party, and cannot […]

Why the DOJ Brief in PHH, Arguing that the CFPB is Unconstitutionally Structured, is Wrong

by Jeff Sovern The Department of Justice has now filed its brief in PHH, arguing that the CFPB as created by the Dodd-Frank Act was unconstitutional because the statute did not give the president the power to fire the Bureau's director without cause, and that the appropriate remedy is the one selected by the original […]

House Passes Bill to Require OMB to Review Some CFPB Regs Before Issuance

by Jeff Sovern As an independent agency, the CFPB can issue regulations without approval from the Office of Management and Budget.  But the House has now passed a bill that would require OMB to review major regulations promulgated by independent agencies, including the CFPB and the FTC (though the FTC seldom produces regulations, a topic […]