Tens of millions of consumers use financial products or services like credit cards and student loans that include pre-dispute arbitration clauses in their agreements. These clauses can require disputes be resolved through arbitration, rather than through the court system. Since 2012, we’ve being working on a study of arbitration provisions and report to Congress. Here’s what we learned and why it matters.
We shop to find the best price for laptops or appliances, but a report of recent mortgage borrowers found that almost half of us don’t shop around for a mortgage when we buy a home. Failing to shop for a mortgage could cost you. Consumers who consider interest rates offered by multiple lenders or brokers may see substantial differences in the rates. Our report sheds light on consumer behavior, and we have tools that can help.
Today, we’re releasing a report that looks at deals between financial institutions and colleges to market credit cards to students. This year we found that there are fewer schools marketing credit cards, and those that do are not making their agreements with credit card companies readily accessible to students.
We believe that consumers are more likely to save if they have access to the right tools. Today, we’re announcing that, as part of Project Catalyst, we’ll be working with American Express to evaluate practices to promote regular saving habits among prepaid card users.
Next Spring, we’ll host our first research conference on consumer finance in Washington, D.C.
Today, I want to share with you the CFPB Ombudsman’s third annual report, which I delivered to Director Cordray.
Today, we’re announcing that as part of Project Catalyst, we’ll be working with H&R Block to evaluate practices to promote consumer saving behavior during tax time.
We’re announcing a research pilot aimed at assessing the potential impact of early intervention credit counseling. We know that defaulting on credit card debt is a very stressful event for anyone and impacts consumers’ ability to access credit in the future. We’d like to use this opportunity to explore what ways may help consumers better manage their credit card debt and avoid default.
Last year, we released a web-based tool that provides the public with easier access to mortgage data for 2007 through 2012. Today, we’re updating the database with 2013 data.
To provide more transparency and to be responsive to the requests we’ve received, we’re changing the format of our Board and Council meetings and opening these full meetings to the public.