The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has started looking into regulating non-bank financial industries now that it has a chief. For starters, it is looking at debt collectors and credit reporting agencies. Says CFPB chief Richard Cordray, “Our proposed rule would mean that those debt collectors and credit reporting agencies that qualify as larger participants are subject to the same supervision process that we apply to the banks.” (Hat tip: CNN)
To add (just) insult to (just) injury, a Florida judge awarded $518,301 to Angela Williams’s attorneys (PDF link). Ms. Williams recently won almost $3 million in a lawsuit against Equifax for Equifax’s refusal to fix her credit report after her identity was stolen.
While it may not be obvious when a consumer receives such a high verdict, without attorney fee awards, most attorneys would not be able to bring lawsuits against credit reporting bureaus like Equifax, unscrupulous debt collectors, mortgage fraudsters, and other consumer predators. As the 11th Circuit said over two decades ago, “[t]he award of attorney fees, as a practical matter, is a critical and integral part of [the creation of a system of private attorneys general.]”