Service Provider Challenges CFPB Authority

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On July 22, a Connecticut bankruptcy attorney and a firm with whom the attorney contracts for legal support services filed a lawsuit charging the CFPB with “grossly overreaching its authority” in requesting “sensitive and privileged information” about thousands of consumers and challenging the constitutionality of the Bureau itself. The suit was filed in response to a CFPB investigation into the service provider’s relationships with law firms that provide debt settlement assistance to consumers facing bankruptcy.  The complaint asserts that the CFPB lacks authority to regulate the law firms supported by the service provider and that the information demanded by the CFPB – disclosed to lawyers by clients seeking advice regarding bankruptcy – is protected by the attorney-client privilege.