12 CFR 1070.20 - Requests for business information provided to the CFPB.
(a) In general. Business information provided to the CFPB by a business submitter shall not be disclosed pursuant to a FOIA request except in accordance with this section.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) Business information means commercial or financial information obtained by the CFPB from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).
(2) Submitter means any person from whom the CFPB obtains business information, directly or indirectly. The term includes, without limitation, corporations, State, local, and tribal governments, and foreign governments.
(c) Designation of business information. A submitter of business information will use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA. These designations will expire ten (10) years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests otherwise and provides justification for, a longer designation period.
(d) Notice to submitters. The CFPB shall provide a submitter with prompt written notice of receipt of a request or appeal encompassing its business information whenever required in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section. Such written notice shall either describe the exact nature of the business information requested or provide copies of the records or portions of records containing the business information. When notification of a voluminous number of submitters is required, notification may be made by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably likely to accomplish it.
(e) When notice is required.
(1) The CFPB shall provide a submitter with notice of receipt of a request or appeal whenever:
(i) The information has been designated in good faith by the submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or
(ii) The CFPB has reason to believe that the information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4.
(2) The notice requirements of this paragraph shall not apply if:
(i) The CFPB determines that the information is exempt under the FOIA;
(ii) The information lawfully has been published or otherwise made available to the public;
(iii) Disclosure of the information is required by statute (other than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 (3 CFR, 1988 Comp., p. 235); or
(iv) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section appears obviously frivolous, except that, in such a case, the CFPB shall, within a reasonable time prior to a specified disclosure date, give the submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information.
(f) Opportunity to object to disclosure.
(1) Through the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section, the CFPB shall afford a submitter ten (10) business days from the date of the notice to provide the CFPB with a detailed statement of any objection to disclosure. Such statement shall specify all grounds for withholding any of the information under any exemption of the FOIA and, in the case of Exemption 4, shall demonstrate why the information is considered to be a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. In the event that a submitter fails to respond to the notice within the time specified in it, the submitter shall be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. Information provided by a submitter pursuant to this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.
(2) When notice is given to a submitter under this section, the requester shall be advised that such notice has been given to the submitter. The requester shall be further advised that a delay in responding to the request may be considered a denial of access to records and that the requester may proceed with an administrative appeal or seek judicial review, if appropriate. However, the requester will be invited to agree to a voluntary extension of time so that the CFPB may review the submitter's objection to disclose, if any.
(g) Notice of intent to disclose. The CFPB shall consider carefully a submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure prior to determining whether to disclose business information. Whenever the CFPB decides to disclose business information over the objection of a submitter, the CFPB shall forward to the submitter a written notice which shall include:
(1) A statement of the reasons for which the submitter's disclosure objections were not sustained;
(2) A description of the business information to be disclosed; and
(3) A specified disclosure date which is not less than ten (10) business days after the notice of the final decision to release the requested information has been mailed to the submitter. Except as otherwise prohibited by law, a copy of the disclosure notice shall be forwarded to the requester at the same time.
(h) Notice to submitter of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester brings suit seeking to compel disclosure of business information, the CFPB shall promptly notify the submitter of that business information of the existence of the suit.
(i) Notice to requester of business information. The CFPB shall notify a requester whenever it provides the submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure; whenever it notifies the submitter of its intent to disclose the requested information; and whenever a submitter files a lawsuit to prevent the disclosure of the information.