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House Votes to Expand FTC Enforcement Authorities

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House Votes to Expand FTC Enforcement Authorities

This week, the House of Representatives passed the “Consumer Protection and Recovery Act” (H.R.2668) to give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enhanced ability to bring enforcement actions against fraudsters and scammers and collect monetary relief for consumers harmed.

Specifically, H.R. 2668 would amend Section 13(b) of the FTC Act to explicitly reaffirm the FTC’s authority to obtain injunctive and equitable relief, including monetary redress for consumers in court. Additionally, the bill makes it clear that the agency may pursue other kids of equitable relief, including restitution for losses, contract reformation and recession, monetary refunds, and the refund of property, as well as forcing bad actors to return their ill-gotten gains.

AFSA joined other trade associations in a letter to Congress in opposition to the bill as it would expand the FTC’s authorities and scope of cases where monetary relief can be rewarded well beyond fraud causes.

“We would like to see a bipartisan solution, one that gives the FTC the potential to pursue monetary relief but cannot support legislation without a reasonable statute of limitations, a differentiation between consumer protection and antitrust cases, and guidance as to when equitable relief is an appropriate remedy,” the trades wrote to Congress.

After the House passage of the H.R. 2668, the bill will be considered by the Senate, where its future remains unclear. AFSA is continuing to monitor and engage with Senate offices on this legislation.

July 23rd, 2021 by