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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 4, 2016

CFPB highlights 2015 consumer response accomplishments

By Katalina M. Bianco, J.D.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published its annual consumer response report for 2015. The report outlines the types of complaints received by the bureau and specifics about each complaint type. This year, the CFPB highlights new achievements in the bureau’s consumer complaint response in 2015: consumer narratives and monthly complaint reports.

General overview. The CFPB notes in the report that the bureau accepts complaints about financial products and services, including mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, deposit accounts, debt collection, credit reporting, payday loans, consumer loans, and more. As of March 2016, the CFPB has handled more than 834,400 consumer complaints, with debt collection being the most complained about service at 31 percent. From the data collected, the bureau has identified, categorized, analyzed, and synthesized information. The report quantifies how many of these complaints involve mortgages, credit cards, or debt collection and the specific types of complaints that consumers have about these and other products.

Consumer narratives. In June 2015, the bureau started inviting consumers to share specific accounts of their experiences with financial products and services. According to the bureau, the consumer narratives allow others to read about and better understand their experiences. A consumer who chooses to make an experience public “enables more people to exert their power to improve the financial marketplace.” Companies also have the option to respond publicly to the substance of the consumer complaints. The CFPB adds that companies have worked with the bureau to improve processing of complaints, “which has been a great operational success.” Responding to the complaints in a timely manner leads to relief and explanations for consumers.

Monthly complaint reports. The CFPB began to issue monthly complaint reports in July 2015. The reports include complaint data on company performance, complaint volume, state and local information, and product trends. Additionally, the reports provide a snapshot of trends and analyses found in the consumer complaints the CFPB handles. They are intended to inform the public, industry, researchers, reporters, and anyone interested in the financial marketplace.

MainStory: TopStory CFPB ConsumerCredit CreditDebitGiftCards DebtCollection FairCreditReporting Loans Mortgages

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