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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.

More tools for Spanish speakers

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Leer en Español

Many people struggle to understand consumer financial products and services. These struggles can be compounded by language barriers, and can make some populations prime targets for exploitation. Recognizing these challenges, we wanted to provide our Spanish-speaking audience with access to clear, unbiased information about financial products and services.

Therefore, today we are unveiling consumerfinance.gov/es.

On consumerfinance.gov/es, you can find answers, in plain-language Spanish, to consumers’ most common questions. It’s also our first responsive site – it works beautifully on mobile devices as well as on desktops – in response to research that shows two-thirds of Latinos who are online tend to access the Internet from a mobile device. And this is just the beginning – we want to continue to expand to include more resources and tools in languages other than English so that we can reach as many people as effectively as possible.

In all of our efforts, hearing from the public is critical in assessing how best to use our tools to improve the workings of consumer financial markets.

We take complaints in Spanish, as well as more than 180 other languages, over the telephone, at 855-411-CFPB (2372). We want everyone, regardless of which language they speak, to know that they have a place to turn when they have a problem with a consumer financial product or service.

The customer may not always be right, but the customer always deserves to have someone who will take the time to listen and, where justified and appropriate, do something about it.

 

A Strong Foundation

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One year ago, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created this new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the CFPB). This law establishes a single point of accountability to assure that markets for consumer financial products work for American consumers and for responsible providers of those products. On July 21, the CFPB starts this work, and it will be a cop on the beat to enforce the laws on credit cards, mortgages, student loans, prepaid cards, and other kinds of financial products and services. The purpose of this report is to summarize in one place what we’ve been up to.

Building the CFPB: A Progress Report. Click the image to read the full report.

This letter also appears in a CFPB report entitled Building the CFPB: A Progress Report. Click to read the full report.

The consumer bureau’s statutory obligations are designed to make markets for consumer financial products and services work in a fair, transparent, and competitive manner. This means, in part, creating a level playing field where all providers of consumer financial products and services are subject to meaningful oversight to ensure that they play by the rules. It also means creating a level playing field where both parties to the transaction – the customer and the lender – can understand the terms of the deal, where the price and the risk of products are made clear, and where direct comparisons can be made from one product to another.

Americans aren’t looking for a free ride. They expect to be held responsible for their debts and purchases. And they understand that there are consequences to not keeping up with payments. When consumers are presented with a choice between two financial products, and they know the true costs, the actual benefits, and the real risks of those products, they will be better able to make good decisions for themselves and their families. A level playing field encourages personal responsibility and smart decision-making.

Americans are looking for an honest marketplace. They want to know the costs up-front, so that they’re not blindsided by hidden fees, interest rate changes, or payment shocks. A properly functioning market relies on consumers’ getting the information necessary to make the best decision for themselves and their families. Consumers have the power to drive markets, but only if they’re provided with the basic information that lets them choose products that meet their needs and reject those that do not.

Across the country, there are responsible financial institutions offering products and services that provide real value to their customers. But finding those products in a sea of fine print and complex terms can overwhelm even the most diligent consumers.

If there is a lesson from the past five years, it’s this: We all lose when consumers cannot readily determine whether they can afford to pay back their loans. We all lose when lenders routinely sell credit in ways that hide the risks and costs. We all lose when a broken consumer credit system magnifies risks throughout the economy. We can do better.

At the consumer bureau, we will do better. Over the past year, we have built a strong foundation, and, in the years ahead, the CFPB will work hard for consumers across the country.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Warren
Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB

This letter also appears on page 5 of a CFPB report entitled Building the CFPB, which was originally published on July 18, 2011