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You have the right to a fair financial marketplace

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We've secured over $10.8 billion dollars in relief for consumers harmed by illegal practices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in the wake of the financial meltdown to stand up for consumers and make sure they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace. One way we accomplish this mission is by enforcing consumer protection laws, holding law breakers accountable for their actions. Since 2011, we have secured over $10.8 billion dollars in relief for more than 25 million consumers harmed by illegal practices.

Mortgages

We’ve secured billions of dollars in relief for consumers harmed by systematic misconduct and illegal practices by companies in the mortgage industry. We’ve taken several actions against mortgage servicing companies for failing to tell borrowers when their loan modification applications were incomplete, denying loan modifications to qualified borrowers, failing to honor modifications for loans transferred from other servicers, and illegal foreclosure practices. We have also taken action against companies in the mortgage industry for steering consumers into costlier loans, for paying illegal kickbacks in exchange for business, and for making inadequate disclosures or using deceptive ads.

Credit cards

We’ve secured billions of dollars of relief for millions of consumers harmed by deceptive marketing and enrollment of credit card add-on products, unfair billing, and illegal debt collection practices.

Payday and installment lending

We have taken action against payday lenders and installment lenders for unlawful lending and collections practices that include using false threats of lawsuits or criminal prosecution to collect debts, charging undisclosed fees to servicemembers, and robo-signing court documents related to debt collection lawsuits.

Learn more about how we’re enforcing consumer protection laws in other product areas including auto lending, debt collection, debt relief, student lending, checking accounts, and more.

You have the right to free, unbiased financial information

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CFPB - Four years working for you

If you are confused and lost when you are shopping for a mortgage or when you are figuring out how to pay for college, you are not alone. If you wish you had a financial expert to turn to for trustworthy guidance about paying off debts, or opening a credit card, you are not alone.

If you believe you have the right to free, unbiased financial information, you are not alone – because at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we agree.

It’s our job to provide you with reliable, trustworthy information about the consumer financial marketplace. So, in the past four years we’ve worked hard creating online tools to inform your financial decisions that are truly free – no charges, no ads, no referral fees.

Three financial tools you can trust

Owning a Home helps you understand one of the most important financial decisions you’re likely to make: getting a mortgage. It explains the complex options you have when shopping for a mortgage loan, for example whether to consider a fixed rate or an adjustable rate. It lets you play around with different factors to see how they affect interest rates. You can also find an easy to use checklist for the closing process that will prepare you to sign on the dotted line.

Paying for College helps students, students-to-be, and their parents compare financial aid packages. For people paying off student loans, Repay Student Debt, a part of the tool, helps you understand your options for repayment, gives you resources to avoid missing payments, and offers helpful resources if you’ve defaulted on your loan. You’ll find a sample letter you can send to student loan servicers (the companies that send you a bill each month), and tips on how to communicate with debt collectors.

In Ask CFPB, you’ll find expert answers to more than 1,000 questions about financial products and services including student loans, credit cards, mortgages, credit scores, credit reporting, getting out of debt, and more. Over four million people have found reliable and unbiased answers to common questions, and we’re adding and improving questions all the time thanks to your feedback. You can rate each Ask CFPB question, letting us know if the answer was helpful, too long, incorrect or confusing. You can also submit questions you think would be good additions to the collection.

We will continue to add more features to our tools, create new tools for other major financial decisions, and make sure our resources stay up-to-date as we and other government agencies update rules. Try out our tools, send us your feedback, and share them with your friends.

When key financial decisions arise in your life, you are not alone. You can trust that our tools and resources will provide you with accurate, unbiased information so you can make the financial decisions you believe are best for you and your family.

You have the right to be heard

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CFPB - Four years working for you

For over four years, William was on the hook for over $8,000 worth of credit card debt he didn’t owe. His credit plummeted, debt collectors called him constantly, and when he tried to refinance his home, his application was denied. Then, he learned about the CFPB and submitted a complaint. Within a week, the debt collection attempts stopped.

“Just to have the situation resolved… that just felt good.” William said. “In a situation for me that was seemingly endless and hopeless, the CFPB helped me to find a resolution.”

We’ve handled more than 163,000 debt collection complaints. About one-third of these complaints, like William’s, were about attempts to collect on debt that the consumer asserted they didn’t owe. Since we began accepting complaints about debt collection, it’s been the most complained-about issue each month. That’s why we’re putting the spotlight on debt collection for our first monthly consumer complaint report. These monthly reports will provide a high-level snapshot of complaint trends and analysis, and we believe they can inform the public and anyone interested in the financial marketplace.

Listening to and elevating your voice matters to us because we are a federal agency devoted to protecting consumers. When you speak up, you offer invaluable insight into the financial products and services consumers depend on. Telling us about your experiences helps us to better serve you and make the financial marketplace work for Americans.

The CFPB was established in 2011, following the most severe financial crisis the US has faced since the Great Depression. In years since, we’ve made it a priority to listen to consumers and amplify their voices so that others could be inspired and empowered to take charge of their financial futures.

Over those years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the people we serve and have had an opportunity to hear about their experiences firsthand. As I’ve talked with people like William, I’ve seen the purpose and value in people sharing their stories, making their complaints heard, and adding to a larger and powerful conversation fueled by consumers who want to see a fairer financial marketplace.

William spoke up about his problem with debt collectors. But we’ve also heard from:

Many of these success stories started with a consumer submitting a complaint to us. If you have a problem with a financial product or service, tell us about your issue. We’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get a response about your issue. Sometimes that response can mean fixing an error on a credit report, leaning about other student loan repayment options, or stopping debt collection calls.

Know that by coming to us you aren’t just helping yourself. Each week we send thousands of consumers’ complaints about financial products and services to companies for response. Those complaints are published in our public Consumer Complaint Database. What’s more, with your permission, we’ll publish your complaint alongside all the others we receive, joining your voice with other consumers facing similar challenges. By adding your voice to the more than 10,000 experiences in the database, you help improve the financial marketplace.

Since opening our doors four years ago, consumers like you have shared their experiences with us through more than 650,000 complaints. We’d love to hear from you, too. If you have an issue with a financial service or product, you can submit a complaint and opt to add your voice to the database.

You have the right to speak up. So join the conversation, because your story matters.

Four years working for you

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CFPB - Four years working for you
On July 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will turn four years old. While our doors have only been open for a short time, our work is helping to create a financial marketplace that works for you. We’re listening to your experiences through the complaints you submit, creating new consumer protections for financial products and services, holding bad actors accountable for breaking the rules, and developing useful tools and resources to empower you to make informed financial decisions.

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as a direct result of the financial crisis in 2008. We were created to stand up for consumers and make sure everyone is treated fairly. To us, our work is about hearing the struggles you face in the financial marketplace and empowering you to make the best financial decisions. It’s also about rooting out bad actors or bad practices that cause harm or stand between you and your financial goals.

We hear stories like that of Ari, a servicemember, and his dad Harry who were dealing with predatory auto loans, and Venida who found an error on her credit report. They are not the only ones dealing with these problems. Their stories exemplify how you can make a difference in your financial situation.

We are here to protect consumers

Your complaints and stories play an important part in our work. As of this month, we’ve handled more than 650,000 of your complaints. When you submit your complaints and tell us your stories, it helps us spot problems and risks, and work to ensure a fair financial marketplace.

The mortgage servicing rules we enacted have brought more transparency to the home-owning process, keeping your mortgage servicers from giving you runarounds or losing your documents. For those who send money out of the country, we have created rules that make sure you know how much money will actually reach your intended recipient.

We’ve also held bad actors accountable in the marketplace, securing $10.8 billion in relief to consumers who were harmed by illegal practices. Over our four years, we have taken action against credit card companies, payday lenders, banks, mortgage companies, debt collectors, and many more.

We are your resource

Just as Venida and Harry used our resources to get help in the financial marketplace, we welcome you to do the same. We have created a number of tools and resources for you to use to help avoid financial problems, plan for the future, and reach your financial goals.

Whether you’re getting ready to make big financial decisions like Paying for College or Owning a Home, or just looking for unbiased answers to financial questions about your mortgage, your credit score, or how to deal with debt collectors, we’ve got tools to help you get answers and make the best decisions for you and your family.

You have the right to fair and transparent financial products and services and we’re committed to continue working for you.

In the coming days, we’ll share more about the work we’ve done leading up to today, so stay tuned.

Updated July 21, 2015: Graphic and text updated to reflect the amount of relief to consumers who were harmed by illegal practices.

CFPB - Four years working for you infographic

Three years of standing up for consumers

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in the wake of the financial meltdown to stand up for consumers, make sure they’re treated fairly, and restore trust in the consumer financial marketplace.

Our focus is on making financial markets work for American consumers—whether they’re applying for a mortgage, borrowing for college, choosing a credit card, or using any number of other consumer financial products.

We officially opened our doors on July 21, 2011—three years ago today. Since then, we’ve used a range of tools in our toolbox to protect consumers: writing rules of the road, supervising and enforcing those rules, responding to consumer complaints, and much more.

Here’s a look at our work so far by the numbers.

Helping consumers help themselves

When we opened in 2011, we immediately launched a system to collect consumer complaints. Since then, we have handled over 400,000 complaints in multiple languages about credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, student loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection, payday loans, vehicle and other consumer loans – and most recently, prepaid cards.

In many cases we’re able to get people some relief—either money back or things like correcting their credit report or stopping harassing phone calls by debt collectors. Our Consumer Complaint Database allows you to see what consumers complained about and why, as well as how and when the company in question responds.

We’ve developed many other consumer resources too, including:

Here’s more about our efforts to help consumers help themselves.

Establishing strong consumer protections

Risky mortgage lending contributed to the crash of the American economy, and shoddy mortgage servicing practices compounded the misery by pushing many consumers into foreclosure. Since opening our doors, we’ve been hard at work establishing new, common-sense mortgage rules to protect consumers at every stage of the process—from shopping for a loan, to closing on a mortgage, to paying it back. These rules represent a back-to-basics approach to the mortgage market.

We’ve also written rules with new protections for consumers of money transfers and credit cards, as well as new rules to supervise larger nonbank debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, and student loan servicers for the first time at the federal level.

In the years ahead, we’ll be shifting to focus on rules that root out deception, debt traps, and dead ends across markets. The goal is a marketplace where the costs and risks are clear, and no consumer is harmed by unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.

Here’s more on our efforts to write rules that establish strong consumer protections.

Enforcing consumer protection laws

In addition to providing consumer resources and writing rules, we enforce federal consumer financial protection laws and work to hold bad actors accountable for their actions. To date, our enforcement actions have resulted in $4.6 billion in relief for roughly 15 million consumers harmed by illegal practices.

Through our credit card enforcement actions, we’ve returned nearly $1.8 billion to millions of consumers harmed by deceptive marketing and enrollment, unfair billing, and discriminatory credit card practices. In mortgage servicing, we’ve ordered $2.6 billion in relief for consumers harmed by systematic misconduct by mortgage servicers. We’ve also taken action against firms illegally taking advantage of consumers struggling with debt, helping other companies collect illegal fees from consumers, and using predatory or deceptive lending and debt collection practices.

Here’s more on our enforcement of consumer protection laws.

With our full set of tools, we’re looking to create a marketplace where costs and risks are clear, and no consumer is harmed by unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.

Thanks to so many of you for your birthday wishes. Time for us to blow out the candles and get back to work!

Three years of standing up for consumers

We’ve heard more than 300,000 complaints. Should we hear from you?

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We first began accepting complaints in July 2011 and as of this week – less than 3 years later – we’ve handled more than 300,000 complaints. That means when hundreds of thousands of people had a problem with a financial product or service, they came to us, and we worked to get them a response.

What kinds of complaints do you accept?

We accept complaints about a range of consumer financial products and services. If you have a problem with debt collection, credit reporting, payday loans, student loans, other consumer loans, money transfers, mortgages, or bank accounts and services, submitting a complaint is simple and secure.

How can I submit a complaint?

The fastest way to get started is to go consumerfinance.gov/complaint. If you need help while you’re online, you can chat with one of our team members on the site. You can also submit a complaint over the phone by calling us at (855) 411-CFPB (2372), toll free. We can handle calls in over 180 languages and accommodate people who are hearing or speech impaired.

What happens after I submit?

After you’ve submitted your complaint you can check its status online or by calling us at (855) 411-CFPB (2372). We’ll also send you email updates along the way so you know where you are in the process, and what’s next. After the company responds to your complaint, we’ll email you, and you can log back in to review the response and give us any feedback.

Every complaint helps us in our work to supervise companies, enforce federal consumer financial laws, and write better rules and regulations. You speaking up gives us important insight into the issues you face as a consumer, so thank you!

You can see what other consumers are complaining about in our public Consumer Complaint Database. If you think you’ve found something interesting in the consumer complaint data, we definitely want to hear about it. Don’t forget to share your work, from visualizations to new tools, by tweeting @CFPB and using #CFPBdata.