The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a government agency that collects consumer complaints about various financial services. These services include credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts, student loans, consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, and debt collection. If you have a problem with a financial institution, start by contacting them directly. If the issue remains unresolved, it's important to submit a complaint to the CFPB. They use these complaints to identify larger problems and potentially regulate the industry to find solutions.
The CFPB, a federal government agency, has been collecting consumer complaints since July 2011. Initially focused on credit cards, it has since expanded its scope to include mortgages, bank accounts, student loans, consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, and debt collection. If you have a complaint regarding any of these financial services, here's a simplified guide to help you determine if it's worth submitting to the CFPB and the process for doing so.
Submitting Complaints to CFPB
If you encounter problems with a financial institution, your first step should be to contact them directly. You can reach out through email, online chat, or a phone call to their customer service. It can be helpful to prepare a script for phone complaints to ensure you cover all important points. Give the company an opportunity to address your complaint, as resolution often depends on finding the right person to speak with. If your initial contact doesn't yield results, persist by making multiple phone calls and requesting to speak with a manager. Eventually, you may reach someone who has the authority and expertise to resolve your complaint. If these attempts prove unsuccessful, consider filing your complaint with the CFPB.
CFPB Complaint Collection
The CFPB collects and manages consumer complaints about financial services to identify risky business practices. These complaints help the agency in supervising companies, enforce consumer financial laws, and creating better regulations. When the CFPB receives numerous complaints about the same issue or financial institution, it indicates a significant problem that regulation may be able to address.
The submitted complaints are included in a public database that economists and researchers use to identify patterns and propose improvements for how financial institutions interact with consumers and are regulated. The database ensures confidentiality by not containing personally identifiable information. Braden Perry, a partner at Kennyhertz Perry, LLC, emphasizes the need for CFPB regulators to address systemic issues and predatory behavior in financial institutions. President Joe Biden nominated Rohit Chopra, a former Federal Trade Commission commissioner, as the director of the CFPB.
How to Submit
To file a complaint with the CFPB, follow these simple steps. Visit the CFPB's website and choose the category that matches your complaint, such as bank account, credit card, credit reporting, debt collection, money transfer, mortgage, student loan, or consumer loan. Depending on the category, you'll be asked to provide a description of the issue, select a relevant option, and optionally share additional details. You'll also need to provide your personal information, including your name, address, and email. If applicable, include specific details about the account and the company involved, and attach any supporting documents.
Review your information, submit the complaint, and the CFPB will forward it to the company. You can track the progress of your complaint online or by calling the CFPB. Remember, most complaints can be resolved directly with the financial institution, but if that doesn't work, the CFPB's process can help you achieve a better outcome.
CFPB Contact Information
To submit a complaint to the CFPB, you can visit their website at consumerfinance.gov/complaint or call their toll-free number at (855) 411-CFPB (2372). They accept complaints about various financial services, including credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts, student loans, consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, and debt collection. Before submitting a complaint, it's recommended that you first contact the financial institution directly to give them an opportunity to address your issue. If the issue remains unresolved, you can file a complaint with the CFPB.
Submitting a complaint to the CFPB can be a helpful step in resolving issues with financial institutions. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your complaint is heard and potentially contribute to better regulations for the industry. Remember to first contact the financial institution directly and give them a chance to address your issue before filing a complaint with the CFPB.