New CFPB Comment Collection: Missing the Mark?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a new online portal through which it accepts public comments on its efforts to streamline inherited regulations. In an advisory released by law firm K&L Gates this week, legal counsel Eric Mitzenmacher weighed in on the new method of comment collection.

“The portal offers convenience at the expense of flexibility,” Mitzenmacher writes. “Whereas commenters submitting by other methods have nearly complete control of the format and content of their message, the portal provides six text boxes. The boxes ask the commenter to identify the regulation and section of the regulation for which a change is suggested, the specific change suggested, the reason for the suggestion, and the effect of the change on each of consumers and financial service providers.

“Comments requiring more explanation, or those suggesting more universal changes that may not be attributable to a single regulation, may be better served by traditional methods of comment submission,” he writes.

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The new portal follows a request for public comment made in December, with a deadline of March 5. The CFPB has made a public effort to collect comments on the regulatory authority and rulemaking it inherited from several other government agencies when it launched in 2011.

Read the K&L Gates advisory.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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