April 26, 2022 - ET

Venable LLP

Defending Consumer Protection Investigations

What to Do When the FTC, CFPB, and State Attorneys General Have Opened Parallel or Joint Investigations

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At a recent National Association of Attorneys General conference, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra encouraged state attorneys general to use the CFPB’s authority to open investigations and bring enforcement actions.  His statement suggested a new level of cooperation between the agency and state attorneys general, but parallel and/or joint investigations in the consumer protection space are not a new phenomenon.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the CFPB have enforcement authority that overlaps with that of the state attorneys general under their state consumer protection statutes.  Federal statutes also grant state attorneys general power to open investigations.  As a result, when the FTC or CFPB opens a consumer protection investigation, state attorneys general are often opening one as well.  For some investigations, there can be significant coordination between the federal and state levels.  For others, there may be very little.  Please join Venable partners Len Gordon (former regional director of the FTC’s Northeast Regional Office), Erik Jones (former policy director and senior public interest counsel for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office), and Alex Megaris for a discussion of the challenges associated with navigating these dynamics, including insight into:

  • the state and federal statutes that provide overlapping jurisdiction to the FTC, CFPB, and state AGs;
  • the dynamics that lead to joint investigations;
  • tips for navigating discovery and document productions in parallel investigations; and
  • issues related to settlement that occur in parallel investigations. 


Len Gordon, Partner, Venable LLP

Erik Jones, Partner, Venable LLP

Alex Megaris, Partner, Venable LLP