The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a proposal to subject large debt collectors and consumer reporting firms to federal supervision for the first time. The move comes as no surprise to Alan Kaplinsky, a partner with Ballard Spahr, which represents some debt collection firms.

"I think what they did here is they honed in on two industries that I think are certainly going to be a priority for them to scrutinize," Mr. Kaplinsky said. "And remarks that Director [Richard] Cordray has made for the last several months and other people at the bureau, it became pretty clear to me that those two industries were a very high priority."