U.S. consumer bureau’s Cordray near pact with Attorneys General

Posted 3/6/12

WASHINGTON - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is close to completing an information-sharing agreement with state attorneys general that would aid law enforcement, Richard Cordray, the bureau’s director, will announce Tuesday.

The accord will “establish a general framework to share data on consumer financial protection issues,” according to an advance copy of a speech Cordray will give to the National Association of State Attorneys General later today in Washington.

The consumer bureau and state attorneys general have formed staff working groups on areas of mutual interest, the former Ohio attorney general said in his prepared remarks. Close work with state law officials has been a signature bureau initiative since former Obama administration adviser Elizabeth Warren began setting it up in late 2010.

“We are meeting regularly to discuss the challenges posed to our mutual constituents by payday loans, foreclosure scams, auto loans, and debt collection,” Cordray will say. “These substantive groups allow us to keep each other updated and to launch joint initiatives in areas where we share jurisdiction.”

State attorneys general have often clashed with major banks, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., over adherence to state consumer-protection laws.

Cordray will also call on state attorneys general to collaborate on a “national strategic plan” to address abuses in the debt collection business. Regulation and enforcement of debt collectors is shared between the states and the federal government. The consumer bureau and the Federal Trade Commission both work in this area at the federal level.

The consumer bureau announced plans on Feb. 16 to start federal supervision of some debt collectors.

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