U.S. PIRG Supports the Constitutionality of the CFPB

Court hears key case Wednesday; Short video explainer available


Washington, DC – On Wednesday morning, May 24th, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument in PHH Corp. v. CFPB.  Last fall, a three-judge panel of the court ruled that the CFPB’s director can be fired by the president without “cause,” but the full court vacated that decision and decided to rehear the case.  The PHH Corporation, fined by the CFPB, is arguing both that the bureau itself is unconstitutional and should be abolished (which the original panel ruling did not find) and that its monetary penalty should be dismissed. U.S. PIRG and allied organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief, as did several state attorneys general and members of Congress.

Mike Landis, U.S. PIRG’s Litigation Director, said, “The bottom line is simple. The CFPB stands up for consumers by going after the wrongdoers who threaten our financial security. But that’s exactly why the agency is under attack from special interests.  As we argue in our friend-of-the-court brief, the D.C. Circuit should reject this latest attack and let the CFPB keep doing its job.”

You can watch our latest short PIRG social media video featuring Mike Landis explaining the issues before the court here.

Highlights of the CFPB’s efforts since it began protecting consumers in July 2011 and how it has improved the consumer marketplace include:

  • Returning nearly $12 billion to 29 million consumers defrauded by Wall Street banks, mortgage companies, debt collectors and other wrongdoers.
  • Levying a record $100 million penalty against Wells Fargo for creating millions of fake consumer accounts.
  • Handling over 1.1 million complaints and putting nearly 800,000 of them, so far, in a public consumer Complaint Database.  The CFPB publishes its monthly Complaint Database “snapshots” that lists consumer complaints about financial products.

 “Whether it is the so-called Financial CHOICE Act, which may be considered in the full House in June or this lawsuit, the CFPB is a constant target of the financial services industry for doing its job too well,” said Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. PIRG.  “The idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.” 


U.S. PIRG serves as the non-profit, non-partisan federation of state Public Interest Research Groups.  PIRGs stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. On the web at uspirg.org.