by Jeff Sovern
In its ongoing efforts to weaken the CFPB and consumer protection generally, the House Financial Services Comittee's Subcommittee on Financial institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing on May 21 on eleven bills. I will talk in this post about only one, the so-called ‘‘Preventing Regulatory Abuse Act of 2014, sponsored by Representative Barr. As regular readers of the blog are likely to know, the Dodd-Frank Act authorized the CFPB to take action against entities within its jurisdiction that engage in unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. Mr. Barr's bill would direct the CFPB to issue a proposed rule defining abusive within fifteen days of the bill's enactment and would block the Bureau from using its power under the abusive prong until the rule was issued.
I can appreciate that the industry would like to know what "abusive" means. Congress did too, and no doubt that's why it defined abusive in the statute. Here's what Congress wrote: