Ari Karen is a partner at Offit Kurman.
Ari Karen is a partner at Offit Kurman.

The CFPB announced a settlement earlier this month requiring a property developer in Florida to maintain roads affiliated with a Tennessee land development project. While the basis for the settlement — an alleged misrepresentation about road maintenance — is not noteworthy, the fact that the CFPB became involved in a local matter with relatively small scale actors illustrates that no one is too small or too local to be subjected to the CFPB's enforcement powers.

Within the last several weeks, the CFPB has repeatedly shown a willingness to go after individual loan officers, business owners and title representatives.

Even the spouse of a loan officer was subjected to the CFPB's enforcement powers. The fact is that the CFPB's powers to initiate enforcement actions are boundless as long as the subject entity has engaged in some wrongdoing within the scope of the laws the agency administers and oversees.

It's also important to note that the agency has begun investigating smaller companies and smaller events. While the agency's actions initially focused on large scale national companies, its most recent activities focus on small to midsized players.

For those companies that have downplayed their need for compliance based upon the "it won't happen to me" mentality, these recent enforcement actions should serve as a wake-up call that an entity need not be nationwide in size or scope to become the target of a CFPB investigation, and even localized matters can fall within the agency's interest.