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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.

Dig in: Releasing credit report and money transfer complaint data

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We promised more expansions and improvements to the Consumer Complaint Database and, just in time for the National Day of Civic Hacking, we’re delivering on that promise.

Today we’re adding:

  • Complaints about credit reports
  • Complaints about money transfers
  • More specificity about certain issues by adding sub-issues. For example, you’ll see more detail about the specific issue around incorrect information on a credit report such the information isn’t the consumer’s, wrong personal information, etc.
  • The state where the consumer lives. We’ve always had ZIP code, but listing the state can make it even easier to put the data in context.

Adding credit report and money transfer complaints will take the number of complaints in the database to more than 113,000.

Remember, if you think you’ve found something interesting in the consumer complaint data, we definitely want to hear about it and encourage the public, including consumers, analysts, data scientists, civic hackers, and companies that serve consumers, to analyze, augment, and build on the information in the database to develop ways for consumers to use the complaint data or mash it up with other public data sets to reveal potential trends.

Check out our civic hacking challenges and don’t forget to share your work, from visualizations to new tools, by tweeting @CFPB using the hashtag #CFPBdata.

The consumer complaint database is just another example of our support for an open-data agenda. Our Project Catalyst team also will be using this data to support innovation in the consumer finance space.

Releasing complaint data about credit cards, mortgages, student loans, bank accounts, services, and other consumer loans

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What are you going to make with #CFPBdata?

Last summer, we launched our Consumer Complaint Database featuring data about credit card complaints.

Today, based on feedback from the public, we’re expanding it – and increasing the number of complaints from about 19,000 to more than 90,000. Here’s what we’re adding data about:

  • Mortgage complaints submitted since we started taking mortgage complaints on December 1st, 2011.
  • Complaints about bank accounts and services submitted since we started taking them on March 1st, 2012.
  • Private student loan complaints submitted since we started taking them on March 1st, 2012.
  • Complaints about other consumer loans (for example, if you got a loan to finance your daughter’s braces) submitted since we started taking them on March 1st, 2012.
  • More specificity about the product each complaint is about, where provided. For example, instead of just “mortgage,” you can see if the complaint is about a reverse mortgage or a conventional fixed mortgage, etc.

And we’re not satisfied quite yet – more expansions are coming. In the future, we’ll add even more products and improvements to the user experience.

The best part is: You don’t have to wait for us to build what you’d like to see from the data. We’re releasing this data as an API, as well as in CSV, JSON, PDF, RDF, RSS, XLS, XLSX, and XML – and we’d love to see what you can do with it.

From infographics to iPhone apps, we’ve seen people do amazing things with the credit card complaint data that was available before today.

If you think you’ve found something interesting in the consumer complaint data, we want to hear about it.

We encourage the public, including consumers, analysts, data scientists, civic hackers, and companies that serve consumers, to analyze, augment, and build on the information in the database to develop ways for consumers to use the complaint data or mash it up with other public data sets to reveal potential trends.

Share your work, from visualizations to new tools, by tweeting @CFPB using the hashtag #CFPBdata.

The Consumer Complaint Database is just another example of our support for an open-data agenda. Our Project Catalyst team also will be using this data to support innovation in the consumer finance space.

Scott Pluta is the Assistant Director for the Office of Consumer Response at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

p.s. As an example of what can be done with the data, we gave one of our staff a day to play with it in Microsoft Excel. Here’s what she came up with. Her example only goes to March 22, and as with the database itself, the data hasn’t been normalized, meaning that in many cases apples-to-apples comparisons can’t always be made. For example, companies with more customers could be expected to have more complaints. States with more people, likewise, would be expected to have more complaints.

Meet someone who has personally worked with more than 2,000 consumers

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Yesterday, I had the honor of meeting Whitney, a star member of our team who answers calls from consumers. She’s personally helped more than 2,000 people who have called in about financial products and services.

I sat in on three of her calls:

  • A woman checking the status of her auto loan complaint,
  • A homeowner with a complaint about her mortgage,
  • A small business owner who had a problem with her business credit card — so we helped her get in touch with her attorney general’s office.

It was an inspiration to meet Whitney — and all of her colleagues who work directly with consumers day in and day out — to thank them personally for their dedication and to see how passionate they are about working with you.

I can’t recommend highly enough that if you have a question or a problem with a financial product you should give us a call at (855) 411-2372. Tell them I said “hello!”

CFPB director at a call center

Update: Join us for a field hearing in Des Moines

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We have announced the location for our field hearing in Des Moines, Iowa on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database. The hearing will take place on Thursday, March 28 at 11 a.m. CST and will be held at the following location:

Des Moines Central Library
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

The event will feature remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public.

This event is open to the public and requires an RSVP.

To RSVP
Email cfpb.events@cfpb.gov with:

  • Your full name
  • Your organizational affiliation (if any)

See you there!

Twitter: Let’s chat!

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We’re excited to co-host a twitter chat with the Federal Trade Commission and the General Services Administration as part of National Consumer Protection Week to answer questions about consumer issues on March 6, 2013, at 2 p.m. ET.

We’ll be taking questions on consumer finance products and services and other consumer issues.

Join the conversation

To participate, tweet questions with the hashtag #NCPW and follow us @CFPB.