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Turning complaint into action: The CFPB works for you

Most of us are doing everything we can to stay healthy in the face of this terrible pandemic—staying home, homeschooling the kids, and making facemasks for family and neighbors. These critical efforts necessary to counter the pandemic have also led to massive, and seemingly overnight, economic impact. With so many of our family, friends, and neighbors experiencing loss of income or job loss, it is an unprecedented time, full of uncertainty and therefore stress. If you are experiencing financial hardship during this challenging time, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends that you reach out to your financial service provider and seek accommodation. Responsible banks, lenders, and creditors are ready to work with you and help you through this period. And they’re the best positioned to provide assistance catered to your circumstances. But please know that if you don’t get a reasonable result from your interaction—if there seems to be a miscommunication, miscalculation, or worse on their end, and you don’t know what to do—

Turn to us.

Despite the changes in operations brought by the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, we are on the job fielding on average 30,000 complaints a month.

Since our founding by Congress after the financial crisis of 10 years ago, the CFPB has a dedicated staff whose sole job it is to hear about issues in the consumer financial marketplace, assemble the details and documents of the complaint, and engage directly with the companies involved until you get an answer.

This is all done in a secure way that protects your information.

We encourage you to engage first with the financial company involved, since they know about your loan or product and should be customer-focused. But sometimes you need to put some more people on your team.

If you feel that you can’t get a reasonable answer, build your case. The best complaints are the ones that explain, clearly and concisely:

  • What happened, including key details and documents
  • What you think would be a fair resolution
  • What you’ve done to try and resolve it

Then go to consumerfinance.gov/complaint where you’ll be able to detail the issue and attach relevant documents. We'll forward your complaint and any documents you provide to the company and work to get a response from them. If we find that another government agency would be better able to assist, we will forward your complaint to them and let you know. By submitting online, you’ll also be able to track your status via our secure web-based Consumer Portal.

If you can’t submit online, you can submit a complaint over the phone by calling us at (855) 411-CFPB (2372), toll free, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Our U.S.-based contact center can help you in over 180 languages and can also take calls from consumers who are deaf, have hearing loss, or have speech disabilities.

After you’ve submitted your complaint you can check its status at consumerfinance.gov/complaint or by calling us. We’ll also send you email updates along the way, so you know where you are in the process, and what’s next.

After the company responds to your complaint, we’ll email you, and you can log back in to review the response and provide feedback.

Your complaints give us important insight into the issues you face as a consumer. Complaints provide the Bureau with near real-time information about the types of challenges consumers are experiencing with financial products and services. We use them to inform our efforts in consumer education, create clear rules of the road for companies, and take action against bad actors in the marketplace. The Bureau also shares consumer complaint information with prudential regulators, the Federal Trade Commission, other federal agencies, and state agencies to ensure that the Bureau and other regulators have useful information to support consumers.

Help is here for you. In this time of uncertainty and fear, the more we can protect consumers from innocent mistakes as well as bad actors and fraudsters the healthier our overall financial well-being will be. We are all in this together.

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