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Enforcing consumer protections by gathering information for investigations

The mission of the CFPB is to ensure compliance with federal consumer financial laws through effective enforcement of those laws. When the Office of Enforcement needs to gather information, it may issue a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to people and institutions that may have materials relevant to an investigation. The law that created the CFPB gives us the authority to gather information this way, and several other federal agencies have similar processes.

We carefully consider what to request in each Civil Investigative Demand. A recipient of a CID may challenge a CID by petitioning the CFPB’s Director. The Director can respond in three ways: he can reaffirm our decision to obtain the information, modify the demand, or set it aside altogether. Director Cordray issued his first ruling on a petition this week. He ordered PHH Corporation, a mortgage lending company, to comply with the Civil Investigative Demand within 21 days.

Although we do not generally comment on confidential law enforcement investigations, we’re committed to telling the public what we can, when we can, about our work to protect consumers. That’s why our rules relating to investigations say that when someone challenges a Civil Investigative Demand and the Director responds, these are generally public records. We will generally post them on our website when we can.

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