The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out a $109 million penalty against PHH Corp in 2014, saying the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gives its sole director too much power.

The CFPB is expected to request the entire appeals court conduct an "en banc" review of the case. The losing side will likely appeal to the Supreme Court.

The ruling will affect other lawsuits against the agency in lower courts, but should not affect the government's $190 million settlement last month of fraud charges with Wells Fargo & Co. The CFPB was involved in that case.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law created the bureau in response to abuse of borrowers that preceded the financial crisis. Republicans objected to a clause in the law that the director could only be fired "for cause" and they foiled President Barack Obama's first choice of CFPB director, now Senator Elizabeth Warren. Obama appointed Richard Cordray director while Congress was in recess.

The decision is likely to lead more companies to challenge the CFPB's enforcement actions in the future, said Ballard Spahr attorney Alan Kaplinsky, who closely follows the bureau.