Updates: 2015 Mid-year update
The CFPB Ombudsman’s Office is an independent, impartial, and confidential resource to help you resolve process issues arising from CFPB activities. You may want to consult the CFPB Ombudsman if you are:
- A consumer who has a process issue from using the CFPB’s complaints function
- A bank or nonbank with a process issue arising from the CFPB’s supervision or enforcement activities
The CFPB Ombudsman reports to the CFPB’s Deputy Director with access to the Director. This reporting line ensures the Ombudsman’s independence within the CFPB. It also allows us to act as an early warning system and serve as a catalyst for change.
We do not advocate for one side, but for a fair process.
We have put safeguards in place to preserve confidentiality. We will not share your identifying information outside the Ombudsman’s Office unless you tell us we can. We also may have to share it if there is a threat of imminent risk of serious harm, you have raised an issue of government fraud, waste, or abuse, or if required by law.
Why is there a CFPB Ombudsman?
An ombudsman provides an alternate, informal way to resolve issues. Many organizations, both government and private, have an ombudsman. The CFPB Ombudsman’s Office was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), which created the CFPB. The other financial regulatory agencies also have ombudsman’s offices: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and The National Credit Union Administration.
Who may contact the CFPB Ombudsman for assistance and on what topics?
You may contact the CFPB Ombudsman if you are:
- A consumer who has a concern about the CFPB complaints process after filing a consumer complaint with the CFPB
at 1-855-411-2372, www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint, or the other ways to submit a complaint.
- A bank or nonbank that the CFPB supervises and you have concerns about supervision or enforcement process issues.
Does the Ombudsman cost money?
Use of the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office is entirely voluntary and free of charge.
When should I reach out to the Ombudsman?
You may use the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office when you have not had success with the existing CFPB processes for addressing your concerns. You may use the Ombudsman’s Office to try and achieve an informal resolution before taking it to the next level. Or, you might contact the Ombudsman because you want to keep your concerns confidential.
You’re welcome to reach out to us at any time, but we ask you to try the existing CFPB avenues for resolution first.
If you are a consumer and have a process concern, please first try calling the CFPB’s complaints hotline at 1-855-411-2372. If you are with a bank or nonbank, please first try talking with your contact in the CFPB’s Supervision or Enforcement Divisions to address your concern.
If your process concern is not resolved through the regular channels, we look forward to hearing from you.
What does the Ombudsman do?
The CFPB Ombudsman assists in the resolution of individual and systemic process issues that a consumer, bank, or nonbank has with the CFPB by advocating for a fair process. In general, the Ombudsman analyzes and learns about all perspectives on an issue by:
- Looking at the applicable laws, regulations, policy, and data
- Talking with the individual and/or stakeholders involved
- Meeting with CFPB officials
Upon completion of that review, the Ombudsman may make a recommendation on how the CFPB should address the issue.
What does the Ombudsman not do?
The Ombudsman does not:
- Address matters already in litigation
- Delay any statutory, regulatory, or other CFPB deadlines
- Make decisions or legal determinations for the CFPB
- Serve as a formal office of legal notice for the CFPB
- Address internal human resources matters
Is the CFPB Ombudsman different than the Private Education Loan Ombudsman?
Yes, the Dodd-Frank Act also established a CFPB Private Education Loan Ombudsman to assist private student loan borrowers. You may file a private student loan complaint using the online student loan complaint form.
How do I reach the CFPB Ombudsman?
Who is the CFPB Ombudsman?
Wendy Kamenshine is the CFPB Ombudsman and she and her team look forward to assisting you.