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Credit card complaints, by the numbers

We’ve been taking your complaints on credit cards at the CFPB since we officially opened for business on July 21, 2011. Today, we released an interim report on credit card complaints .

Hearing directly from consumers gives us a snapshot of how the consumer finance markets are operating. As Raj Date, Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary for the CFPB said this morning: “We are learning that there is a lot of consumer confusion about credit card terms. We will continue to work with consumers, credit card companies, government agencies, and others to improve consumer education and ensure CFPB’s regulation, supervision, and enforcement efforts are effective.”

In our first three months, Consumer Response has received more than 5,000 credit card complaints. Companies reported resolving more than 3,100 of these, with consumers disputing these responses in 400 cases, or less than 13 percent of time.

While we’ve only been able to accept complaints on credit cards right now, we’ll begin taking complaints and inquiries related to home mortgages on or about Dec. 1, and we expect to be ready to handle complaints for all financial products and services by the end of 2012.

Today we’re also again asking for your help as we develop our policies.

When you complain to us, our top priority is helping you resolve your problem and protecting your privacy along the way. But we also want to be transparent about our systems, operations, and information we’re receiving – information that, when made public, gives individuals and organizations data they can analyze for patterns and trends. We propose providing a searchable public database that contains various data fields for each complaint, but excludes any fields with personal information. We hope you will tell us what you think about the policy by end of the year.

Taking your complaints and helping you resolve them is one of the most important things we do – so we hope you’ll take a look at our report and proposed policy and let us know what you think.

Sartaj Alag is the CFPB’s Assistant Director for Consumer Response

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