While CFPB Gets Spared in Shutdown, FTC Goes Dark

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As we noted late last week, the U.S. federal government shutdown which began Tuesday does not impact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is closed for the time being, with most of its functions on indefinite hold.

The FTC’s web site Tuesday went dark, redirecting visitors to a very plain message at ftc.gov/shutdown.html. The message reads:

Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission is closed due to the government shutdown.

  • The FTC Premerger Notification Office will be open to accept HSR filings.

  • Consumers may file FOIA requests, but they will not be processed.

  • Consumers cannot file complaints or register for Do Not Call.

  • All public workshops, roundtables, hearings and conferences are postponed until further notice.

  • We hope to be open soon.

The agency did not explain what may be happening with ongoing investigations or legal actions. There is also no indication that the FTC may reopen before the end of the shutdown. While the FTC noted that consumers cannot file complaints, it is not known if complaints submitted by consumers online will be entered once the agency is up and running again, or if those complaints will show up in the FTC’s yearly consumer complaints report.

The FTC is an independent agency of the U.S. government, meaning it is not tied to federal executive departments. But its funding is specifically appropriated by Congress in the annual federal budget, and since it is deemed “non-essential” it was closed Tuesday.

This is different from the funding of the CFPB. The new financial watchdog operates within the Federal Reserve and is not subject to Congressional budget appropriations.

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Posted in CFPB, Collection Laws and Regulations, Featured Post .

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Continuing the Discussion

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  • avatar John Smith says:

    Isn’t it encouraging when you see that the CDC, NIH, FAA Inspectors and a host of other agencies and departments that can be instrumental in saving lives is closed down but the CFPB is unaffected by the current government shutdown.

    The administration and congress should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen to the citizens of this country. The American people deserve much better leadership than what is on display today.

  • avatar Time For Change says:

    2nd that! Apparently it’s more important to make sure debt collectors don’t leave a message on someones cell phone voice mail…apparently.

  • avatar Commercial Guy says:

    While I do not necessarily disagree that there is a place for the CFPB, having it totally out of funding and oversight is one of the most oppressive things our government has done in a long time. One can only hope that our dedicated public servants in Washington can resolve their collective anal / cranial issues sometime soon.

    OK, call me a hopeless optimist….

  • avatar Sisko says:

    Actually, the website did not go dark. If you view the webpage http://www.ftc.gov you will see the usual webpage for a split second, and then it gets redirected to the shutdown message. This means that the web server is completely working, and the shutdown message is just designed to inconvenience people with questions. Computers don’t just magically stop working because someone can’t agree on a budget.

  • avatar ryon gambill says:

    I third that. It is tragically absurd that joe debtor can file his “they harassed me and violated the credit debt privacy act and had the audacity to demand payment for an account I owe” complaint, but they are not inspecting food, drugs, planes, etc.

    Geez, Wahington; pull your heads out of your arses. CFPB essential? NOT!!!

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