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Meet Julio from Florida

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Since we launched on July 21st 2011, we’ve heard directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brought their concerns to the attention of financial institutions, and helped address their complaints. Accepting, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of our work.

Periodically, we’ll feature stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.

Julio, a 31-year-old waiter from Florida struggled to pay his private student loans from a for-profit college after his payments shot up.

When Julio left Puerto Rico to pursue his dream of studying to be an artist, he chose a for-profit college that he says advertised itself as a top ranking school. But after accruing $110,000 in debt and graduating with only an Associate’s Degree, not the Bachelor’s he wanted, he couldn’t find a job in his field. The college was not competitive, he was told.

Like many other students, Julio says the school steered him into taking on expensive private loans before exhausting his federal loan options. For more than a year, he promptly paid $700 a month to the private student loan lender. But when his federal loan kicked in, his payments increased to $1,100 a month and he could no longer make ends meet. He called his private student lender and asked to work out a deal for lower, extended payments. The company refused, he said.

After Julio contacted the CFPB, the loan provider discovered that Julio was eligible for a reduced-payment program. Julio’s private student loan payments were cut back to $407 a month for the next year. Julio is still working out a plan for to reduce his payments for the federal loans.

Learn more

To see more about how we handle consumer complaints, read our Consumer Response Snapshot and to see all credit card complaints, visit our consumer complaint database.

Meet Jonna from Texas

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Since we launched on July 21st 2011, we’ve heard directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brought their concerns to the attention of financial institutions, and helped address their complaints. Accepting, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of our work.

Periodically, we’ll feature stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.

Jonna, a 53-year-old legal assistant from Texas, was accruing high fees on her credit card because of a card issuer computer glitch.

The problems started in August 2011 when Jonna says she tried to pay $200 toward her $3,100 credit card debt but a malfunction of the credit card issuer’s website instead caused a $3,100 withdrawal from her bank account. That malfunction resulted in an overdraft charge from her bank and a charge of $25 from the card issuer for a bounced payment.

After repeated phone calls to customer service, the card issuer finally straightened out the amount that Jonna had wanted to pay but accidentally put the $3,100 balance as cash advance charges, which have a higher interest rate than purchases. Interest owed was ratcheting up fast. The fees grew to $345 before the issuer agreed to return the balance to the purchased category.

When Jonna contacted the CFPB in May 2012 she says there was still an erroneous cash advance balance on her card, extra fees were still being charged, and the issuer still had failed to reimburse her for the mistaken interest charged while the balance was in the higher-interest cash advanced category. Within a week after the CFPB got involved, the credit card issuer corrected all their errors. And, although the issuer could not refund Jonna for the insufficient fund charges from her bank, it sent Jonna a gift card for a national retail outlet.

Learn more

To see more about how we handle consumer complaints, read our Consumer Response Snapshot and to see all credit card complaints, visit our consumer complaint database.

Meet Greg from Michigan

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Since we launched on July 21st 2011, we’ve heard directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brought their concerns to the attention of financial institutions, and helped address their complaints. Accepting, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of our work.

This week, we’ll be featuring stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.

Greg, a 39-year-old insurance adjuster from Michigan, whose credit rating was damaged after a bank failed to tell him that an account with which he was associated was in arrears.

Greg added his name to his 71-year-old mother’s checking account after he helped her move into an assisted living facility. Six months passed without Greg getting any statements or hearing from the bank. Little did he know, however, that his mother had written a check and the account was racking up big fees because its balance had fallen below zero. He found out about it when he checked his credit report and saw that he owed a collection agency $469.

Greg paid the bill but his credit was harmed and he says the bank wouldn’t help. After the CFPB got involved, the bank apologized for their error, called off the debt collector, and had Greg’s negative credit record removed.

Learn more

To see more about how we handle consumer complaints, read our Consumer Response Snapshot and to see all credit card complaints, visit our consumer complaint database.

Meet Ronald from Georgia and Nelda from California

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Since we launched on July 21st 2011, we’ve heard directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brought their concerns to the attention of financial institutions, and helped address their complaints. Accepting, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of our work.

This week, we’ll be featuring stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.

Ronald, a 77-year-old Army veteran and retired businessman from Georgia believed he had paid off his mortgage but found his mortgage servicer said he still owed money.

Ronald, who bought his home in 1979 for $38,000, was blind and had trouble finding the paperwork to prove he owned his home free and clear. So he continued to hand over $100 each month to the lender. After the CFPB got involved at the end of 2011, the bank determined that Ronald had in fact paid off his mortgage in 2007 before the current servicer took over the loan. The bank refunded Ronald’s money at 3 percent interest and sent him a check for $30,000.

Nelda, a 67-year-old data entry clerk from California, received a $2,000 charge on her credit card for purchases she never made.

She says she contacted the card issuer to report the mistake and found out the charges were systematically accrued on one day by someone withdrawing $200 at a time. She told the issuer it was fraud. But she says the issuer said she was still on the hook for the money because it was her card. The charges set off a cascade of bad events for Nelda that lasted nearly a year. Eventually, the debt was sold to a collection agency that took Nelda to court.

After the CFPB got involved, the card issuer accepted that the charges were fraudulent and agreed that Nelda was not responsible.

Learn more

To see more about how we handle consumer complaints, read our Consumer Response Snapshot and to see all credit card complaints, visit our consumer complaint database.