Consumer board wants for-profit colleges accreditor to cooperate

By Hoang Tran | Nov 5, 2015

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — A federal consumer bureau is requesting that a court force an accreditor of for-profit colleges to comply with an investigation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a petition on Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ASICS).

The CFPB initially asked the ACICS on Aug. 25 to comply with a civil investigative demand (CID) to determine whether anyone is engaging in unlawful acts and practices in connection with accrediting for-profit colleges.

The demand directed ACICS to appear and provide oral testimony on Sept. 22 and 23 in Washington, D.C., and to provide responses to two interrogatories. The suit alleges ACICS has refused to comply with the CID. 

On Sept. 14, ACICS submitted a petition to set aside or modify the CID, but the bureau’s director denied the petition on Oct. 8 and ordered ACICS to confer with bureau counsel within 10 days. On Oct. 23, ACICS submitted to the bureau a motion to reconsider the denial of its petition, which was also denied. ACICS allegedly has told the bureau counsel it is not able to discuss setting a date for the hearing or complying with the other requirements of the CID.

The CFPB is seeking a court order directing ACICS to show cause why an order should not be issued directing it to comply with the CID, and an order for ACICS to comply with the CID within 10 days of showing cause.

The CFPB is represented by Enforcement Director Anthony Alexis,  Deputy Enforcement Director Jeffrey Paul Ehrlich, Assistant Litigation Deputy John Wells, and Enforcement Attorneys Benjamin Konop and Kristina Betts, all with the CFPB in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Case number 1:15-cv-01838-RJL

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