Do lawyers like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

by Brian Wolfman

Well at least the debt-collection lawyers don't, as explained in this article by Jenna Greene. According to the incoming head of the debt-collection lawyers' trade group, the CFPB is "the bane of our existence." Here is an except from Greene's article:

When scores of debt-collection lawyers descend on Washington this
week for a trade association meeting, they'll find one agency open that
many may wish was closed: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In the past year, the bureau, which is independently funded by the
Federal Reserve and still open despite the shutdown, has begun
overseeing lawyers who represent banks, credit card issuers, automobile
finance companies and other creditors in collecting overdue payments
from consumers. For the increasingly beleaguered bar, it's a "huge" issue that raises
still-unresolved questions of attorney-client privilege and overlap with
state bar association authority, said Joann Needleman, president-elect
of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, which counts
700 law firms employing 2,000 lawyers as members. The agency, she said,
"is the bane of our existence right now."

The article goes on to say that the debt-collection lawyers are seeking relief from Congress in the form of legislation that would exempt "litigation-related activities" from the Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCPA). But what does that have to do with the CFPB? Certain litigation-related activities, and therefore the conduct of certain lawyers, have been covered by the FDCPA under court rulings going back decades. The debt-collection lawyers real concern, I think, is that, with the birth of the CFPB, there's another federal cop on the beat that is giving a high priority to problems associated with debt collection.

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