Putting money back into consumers' pockets: An empirical study of the cfpb's civil penalty fund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ("CFPB") primary goals is to protect consumers. Protecting consumers necessarily means ensuring that companies and individuals stop violating the consumer laws. But stopping illegal conduct in the future does not help the consumers who have already been harmed. In many of the cases prosecuted by the CFPB, the defendants illegally took money out of the pockets of consumers: They charged fees that were expressly illegal; they charged consumers more than the consumers owed or more than the defendants had disclosed; and they deceived consumers about what the consumers were buying or how much it would cost. Remediating this harm-giving back money actually taken from consumers through the defendants' illegal conduct-is an essential part of protecting consumers, and through the end of its 2019 fiscal year, the CFPB often required the defendants to pay consumers directly for the harm identified by the CFPB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1470
Number of pages54
JournalUniversity of Illinois Law Review
Volume2021
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

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