On June 25, 2019, Allyson Baker was quoted in Bloomberg Law regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) use of the abusive standard.
According to the article, CFPB appears poised to give companies more information about how it uses its unique authority to sue companies for abusive practices. Consumer advocates fear that this could be a pretext for curbing the agency's enforcement powers.
The financial services industry has long sought a firmer definition of what constitutes an abusive practice beyond what is written in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which created the CFPB. The post-crisis law laid out a broad definition of what constitutes an abusive practice. The standard is aimed at protecting vulnerable groups from practices meant to deceive consumers or prevent them from making informed decisions about a product or service.
The CFPB has only issued one new enforcement action using the abusive standard since its former director, Richard Cordray, departed in November 2017. By not bringing cases, the CFPB could hamper the further understanding of the abusiveness standard, according to Baker.
"Ultimately it could be a stagnant part of the statute that doesn't get resuscitated until the next regime comes in," Baker, a former CFPB enforcement attorney, said.