National Association of Attorneys General

National Association of Attorneys General National Association of Attorneys General

Attorneys General Support State Enforcement of Consumer Financial Protection Agency Rules

State-Federal Partnership Encouraged to Benefit Consumers

Washington, DC---Attorneys General from 40 states and territories sent a letter to Congress today urging members to uphold the role of the states in enforcing consumer protection laws should the Congress create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). While not speaking to the merits of creating such an agency, the letter offers the reasons for not preempting state laws and for supporting state enforcement of new CFPA regulations.

Preemption is the Attorneys General top issue for the federal government. In January, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG)called on the Obama administration and the 111th Congress to resist federal preemption of state laws, particularly in the enforcement of state banking and mortgage foreclosure laws.

Today’s letter requests that states be permitted to enforce the new Agency’s regulations. “Allowing the states to enforce federal standards will maximize government resources, promote honest competition and deter potential violators,” states the letter. “We seek not to challenge federal authority but to enhance it and make it more efficient and effective.”

“States have long been active in protecting their consumers from financial fraud,” the letter states. “The landmark predatory lending settlements against Household International, Ameriquest, and Countrywide returned hundreds of millions of dollars to victimized borrowers while forcing changes to lending practices. This experience uniquely suits us to assist federal regulatory agencies with their enforcement burden.”

The letter goes on to say that Americans are better served when the states work as partners with the federal government and not as adversaries.

To view a copy of the letter and its signatories, go to the NAAG Web site:

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Tim Fox, Montana Attorney General

Tim Fox, the Montana attorney general, has worked in public service since 1990.