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