The success of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau remains hotly debated five years after its creation. While consumer advocates hail the agency as doing exactly what it was created to do, those that are regulated and supervised by the CFPB—financial industries—feel it has overstepped its bounds, particularly in terms of the burden of its rules and their legality.

Members of Congress who agree with their position support efforts to reform the structure and mission of the CFPB, which was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010 in response to the financial crisis and recession.

The agency has had an unprecedented impact on the consumer financial services industry, Alan Kaplinsky, an attorney Ballard Spahr who leads the firm’s consumer financial services group, told Legal Newsline. Since the CFPB was formed, the firm has added about 100 attorneys to the group, and much of their work relates to the agency.

"It’s very much a mixed bag. A lot of what they’re doing — I think it’s overstepping the line. They’re often treading in areas where I don’t believe they have jurisdiction. They’re pushing the envelope a little too far," he said.

Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced a bill that would overhaul the Dodd-Frank Act, including the CFPB, to rectify the impact of the regulations which he says have caused Americans to have lost their financial independence because of the bureau’s overreach.

His bill proposes changing the name of the bureau to the Consumer Financial Opportunity Commission, which would be tasked with expanding to include consumer protection and competitive markets. It would also restructure the leadership and make the agency more accountable to Congress, rather than the Federal Reserve.

While Kaplinsky supports the proposed reforms, he doesn’t think there will be any action on the bill this year.

"I think they’re terrific. I think it was not a good idea to create the CFPB with one person (director Richard Cordray) being in charge of everything. Regardless of who that person is. It’s too much power vested in one individual," he said.

Kaplinsky feels the CFPB does good things—like protecting consumers from companies that shouldn’t be in business—but they spend more effort on going after larger institutions, which can be detrimental to the industry.

Some companies in the financial services industry have litigated enforcement actions by the CFPB, but that hasn’t regulations being challenged. There are new rules governing payday, auto title and certain installment loans, as well as arbitration agreements, in the works, which could change that.

"It’s virtually a certainty that both those regulations when they become final will be challenged," he said.