CFPB Again Rejects FOIA Request to Release Leaked Agency Documents

McLEAN, VA —For the second time in four months, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has quashed efforts to make public a number of leaked agency documents that  undermine many of the CFPB’s long-running claims that it is not attempting to regulate auto dealers in circumvention of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The CFPB’s latest rejection came in response to an Oct. 8, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, filed by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), asking the CFPB to release internal documents, leaked to American Banker, acknowledging that the agency intended to regulate the auto finance market through enforcement action, and showing that it eschewed evidence that its methods for estimating disparate impact were deeply flawed.

In July, NADA asked the CFPB to make publically available documents – also leaked to American Banker – in which CFPB officials admitted in a private memo that they intended to eliminate the ability of dealers to offer discounted financing rates to consumers, despite the Bureau’s statutory prohibition against regulating auto dealers, as well as numerous public pronouncement s from Director Richard Cordray that the Bureau was not – as both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have worried – straying from its Congressional mandate.

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