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CFPB to provide advance warning of possible enforcement actions

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is charged by Dodd-Frank to act as top cop on the mortgage beat, plans to provide financial firms with advanced notice of investigations and possible enforcement actions. Raj Date, special adviser to the Treasury Department for the CFPB, said Monday the new agency will allow the subject of any investigation a chance to respond to potential legal violations that staff members are working on. "The early warning notice announced today strikes a balance between the goal of fairness to those being investigated and our mission to protect consumers," Date said. "This process will help us fulfill our commitment to transparency in enforcing the law." Financial firms that receive an early warning notice will have 14 days to provide a written response to explain any legal or policy arguments or inform the CFPB of relevant facts about the case. In its early warning notice proposal, the CFPB said, "the primary focus of the written statement in response should be legal and policy matters relevant to the potential enforcement proceedings. Any factual assertions relied upon or presented in the written statement must be made under oath by someone with personal knowledge of such facts. Submissions may be discoverable by third parties in accordance with applicable law." The CFPB said in October that examiners are already on site at some lending institutions. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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