The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has outlined plans to provide advance notice of potential enforcement actions to individuals and firms under investigation. The Early Warning Notice process allows the subject of an investigation to respond to any potential legal violations that CFPB enforcement staff believe have been committed before the CFPB ultimately decides whether to begin legal action.

The Early Warning Notice process is modeled on similar procedures that have been successful at other federal agencies. It begins with the Office of Enforcement explaining to individuals or firms that evidence gathered in a CFPB investigation indicates they have violated consumer financial protection laws. Recipients of an Early Warning Notice are then invited to submit a response in writing, within 14 days, including any relevant legal or policy arguments and facts.

The Early Warning Notice is not required by law, but CFPB believes it will promote even-handed enforcement of consumer financial laws. The decision to give notice in particular cases is discretionary and will depend on factors such as whether prompt action is needed.

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