There is no initial fee for you to make a FOIA request. However, the Freedom of Information Act allows the Bureau to charge you fees to recover the direct costs of providing records to you.
The guidance below will assist you in determining the types and amounts of fees that could apply to your FOIA request filed with CFPB. You should read this guidance if any fees apply to your request.
- Commercial Use Requesters – charged for all search, record review and redaction, and record duplication costs.
- News Media, Educational, or Scientific Requesters – charged for record duplication only (after the first 100 pages).
- Other Requesters – charged for search costs (after the first two hours) and record duplication costs (after the first 100 pages).
The CFPB has established the following fee schedule in accordance with Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget. See 52 Fed. Reg. 10011 (March 27, 1987).
Record duplication charges
- Fees for the duplication of paper records are $0.10 per page.
- Fees for printing electronic records include direct costs and labor costs.
Record search charges
- If clerical staff conducted the search, then search fees will accrue at the rate of $9.00 per 15 minutes.
- If professional staff conducted the search, then search fees will accrue at the rate of $23.00 per 15 minutes.
- If a combination of clerical and professional staff conducted the search, then search fees will accrue at the basic pay rate plus 16% of the employee(s) who conducted the search.
Record review and redaction charges
- If only clerical staff conducted the review, then review fees will accrue at the rate of $13.00 per 15 minutes.
- If only professional staff conducted the review, then review fees will accrue at the rate of $23.00 per 15 minutes for professional staff.
- If a combination of clerical and professional staff conducted the review, then review fees will accrue at the basic pay rate plus 16% of the employee(s) who conducted the review.
Other services and materials requested which are not covered above will be charged at the actual cost to the CFPB. This includes—but is not limited to—certifying that records are true copies or sending records by special methods such as Express Mail. Fees associated with these services may vary based on current market prices for such services. The Bureau will notify requesters of these costs prior to incurring them.
Fee limits established by requester
In your request letter you may make a specific statement limiting the amount of fees you are willing to pay. You will be given the opportunity to narrow your request prior to any fees being charged for your request(s). Please note, you will not be charged for any fees under the total amount of $250.
If you expect or are advised that a fee will be charged, you may request a waiver of those fees. However, fee waivers are limited to situations in which the requestor can show that:
- The disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government
- The requested information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester
Payment of fees
Ordinarily, you will not be required to pay the fees until after the records have been processed and sent to you. You may be required to pay fees in advance, however, if the CFPB determines that processing your request will cost more than $250.00 or if you have a history of non-payment or late payment of fees.
Important payment information
All FOIA fees must be paid in U.S. dollars by check or U.S. Postal Service Money Order (made payable to the “United States Treasury”). Please reference the specific FOIA request number (e.g. CFPB-2011-001) on the check or U.S. Postal Service Money Order.