CFPB finalizes updates to Rules of Practice for Adjudication Procedures
On February 24, the CFPB finalized updates to the agency’s Rules of Practice for Adjudication Procedures (Rules of Practice). Under Section 1053(e) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Bureau is required to establish procedures for administrative adjudications. Last February, the Bureau issued a request for comments on proposed amendments to the Rules of Practice, which are intended to provide greater procedural flexibility, provide parties earlier access to relevant information, expand deposition opportunities, and make various other changes (covered by InfoBytes here). After considering comments received, the Bureau said it will retain the proposed updates in the final procedural rule. According to the Bureau, the updated Rules of Practice expand opportunities for parties in adjudication proceedings to conduct depositions of potential witnesses to allow hearings to “proceed more efficiently and focus more on issues central to the proceeding.” The final rule also makes several amendments related to “timing and deadlines, the content of answers, the scheduling conference, bifurcation of proceedings, the process for deciding dispositive motions, and requirements for issue exhaustion, as well as other technical changes.” The final rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register. The Bureau noted in its announcement that while it “still plans to bring the vast majority of its matters in district court,” it will continue to conduct administrative adjudications in certain circumstances.