The new federal consumer watchdog has taken aim at debt collectors, proposing regulations that would give it authority to supervise such companies. The proposed regulation, once implemented, could allow the CFPB to examine debt collectors, debt buyers, and law firms that collect through related litigation.

“It’s a whole new world in the way the industry has been regulated,” said Alan S. Kaplinsky, who heads Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group. “The worry is that the law is very vague…and that they may interpret it in an overly broad way to go after debt firms for practices that they have not considered to be unlawful.”