The CFPB’s primary mission is to protect consumers and enforce Federal consumer financial protection laws. Since its inception, the CFPB has focused on the credit card and mortgage industry.
Their goals include watching for violations of mortgage disclosure laws and other infractions which could cause consumers to unsuspectingly sign up for the kinds of risky loans that caused the housing crisis. The bureau also scrutinizes the credit card forms issued by big that can be misleading.
In February 2012, they turned their attention to debt collectors and credit reporting agencies by proposing new rules aimed at regulating these two gigantic industries. Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said “debt collectors and credit reporting agencies have gone unsupervised by the federal government for too long.”
In March 2012, the CFPB has announced they will begin taking complaints about checking and savings accounts, as well as federal and private student loans.
Consumers will now be able to make complaints about their banks and the CFPB will contact the bank with the complaint and allow 15 days for a response. Given they have sufficient staff to actually process every complaint, consumers now have a responsive advocate to potentially resolve issues. This could prove to be a great resource for consumers.
Checking and savings account complaint categories may include the following topics:
- Account opening, closing, and management
- Deposits and withdrawals
- Using a debit or ATM card
- Making or receiving payments and sending money to others
- Problems related to low account funds
For consumers with a ChexSystems record, this may be a good resource to have a bank remove a listing if you have been unfairly reported to ChexSystems and have been unsuccessful with the ChexSystems dispute process.
Federal and private student loan complaints can be made at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding billing and collection disputes. The CFPB will contact lenders with your complaint and the lenders must respond within 60 days. Previously, consumers with private student loans had little recourse in dealing with private lenders.
Private and Federal student loans do not function the same way. Federal student loans give consumers more options when they are facing default. Private lenders have fewer options for borrowers in addition borrowers often face abusive lenders. Abusive lenders will now be held accountable which will be beneficial for consumers trying to resolve billing and collection issues.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken on several relevant consumer financial matters. It has investigative and enforcement authority, along with the power to issue subpoenas for records. Now let’s hope they have the infrastructure to support its goals. If you have a complaint, visit the bureau at: www.consumerfinance.gov