The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has again infiltrated an area where its jurisdiction may be questionable, despite a reprimand in a recent case involving the accreditation of for-profit colleges.

Last week, the CFPB filed a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania against J.G. Wentworth, a company that provides liquidity to its customers by purchasing future streams of income, such as structured settlement and annuity payments.

The CFPB wants to enforce a civil investigative demand issued to J.G. Wentworth "to determine whether persons involved in advancing funds in exchange for the rights to future payments from structured settlements or annuities" violates federal consumer financial laws.

"I don't know why the CFPB thinks this fits into the definition of their jurisdiction under Dodd-Frank, but they do," said Alan Kaplinsky, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr and leader of the consumer financial services group at the firm.

"There will be further litigation and another situation where the CFPB seems to have taken an interest in an area that doesn't seem to be within their jurisdiction."

Kaplinsky contends that when the CFPB was created, it focused on residential mortgages and issued regulations involving residential mortgage loan origination and servicing. In recent years, he says, the agency has become more aggressive and virtually no area of the consumer financial services industry escapes its attention.

When it was created in 2010 The CFPB focused on residential mortgages and issued regulations regarding loan origination and servicing, but, according to Kaplinsky, in recent years it has expanded in such a way that virtually no area of the consumer financial services industry is untouched.

"I think really what it comes down to is, if they don't like something, they will try to figure out a way to push the envelope so they can try to cover it," Kaplinsky said.