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CFPB Letter to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

Via electronic mail

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
Attn: Araceli Dyson 2101
Arena Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95834

Re: Consumer Complaints and Inquiries Proposed Rulemaking (PRO 03-21)

Dear Department of Financial Protection and Innovation:

We write on behalf of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to commend the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation’s (DFPI’s) efforts to strengthen consumer protections in the State of California.

States play a crucial role in protecting consumers. DFPI’s proposed action on complaints and inquiries recognizes the importance of listening to the public when conducting consumer protection work. For more than 10 years, consumer complaints have been central to the CFPB. By accepting and monitoring complaints from the public about providers of consumer financial products and services, the CFPB has a real-time window into the issues consumers experience. This perspective helps the CFPB with its supervisory, enforcement, rule writing, market monitoring, and educational functions. It also holds the CFPB accountable to the people it is meant to serve by bringing their experiences to the forefront.

Last year, the CFPB received more than 1.2 million complaints. Of those, more than 128,000 complaints came from Californians across the state’s 58 counties. Most often, Californians submitted complaints about consumer reporting, debt collection, and checking and savings accounts. Complaints can also reveal areas of potential consumer harm that may be more acute for Californians. A robust complaint and inquiry function will provide DFPI with additional data to identify and police these and other areas of consumer harm.

States have long been a valued and critical CFPB partner. Therefore, as DFPI continues to develop its tools for carrying out its mission, the CFPB welcomes opportunities to partner and fortify protections for consumers.

Matthew Pfaff
Chief of Staff
Office of Consumer Response

Jennifer Song
Advisor and Counsel to the Director