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CFPB Discusses Dodd-Frank and Abuse

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held its first symposium on Tuesday, with a focus on the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibition on abusive acts or practices. The symposium consisted of two panels of “unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices” (UDAAP) experts, providing a public forum for the CFPB and the public to hear various perspectives on the meaning of abusiveness.

CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger discussed the uncertain meaning of abusiveness.

“Although Congress provided a definition of what constitutes an abusive act or practice in the Dodd-Frank Act, abusiveness  does not have the long and rich history of unfairness or deception,” said Kraninger in her statement. “We have heard from some stakeholders that there is uncertainty about abusiveness’s parameters, which makes it harder for businesses that want to comply with the law to do so. And this uncertainty creates impediments to innovation and other salutary developments in the marketplace.”

The first panel was a discussion on various policy issues relating to the abusive standard under Dodd-Frank. Panelists included:

  • Patricia McCoy, Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
  • Todd Zywicki, Professor of Law, George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School
  • Howard Beales, George Washington University; former Director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Adam Levitin, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law School

During the symposium’s second panel, experts examined how the abusive standard has been used in practice. These experts were:

  • William MacLeod, Partner at Kelley Drye; former Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection and Bureau of Competition
  • Eric Mogilnicki, Partner at Covington & Burling; former Chief of Staff, Senator Ted Kennedy
  • Lucy Morris, Partner Hudson Cook; former CFPB Deputy Enforcement Director
  • Nicholas Smyth, Assistant Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Senior Deputy Attorney General

“Today’s symposium is a proactive effort as the Bureau fulfills its mission,” said CFPB Deputy Director Brian Johnson. “After all, an important component of consumer protection is combating unlawful acts or practices by market participants, including and especially those that are discriminatory, deceptive, unfair, or abusive.”

Watch a replay of the symposium here.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Staff Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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