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June 4, 2018
Office of the Executive Secretary
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20552
Submitted VIA: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=CFPB_FRDOC_0001-0603
Re: Consumer complaints, Docket ID: CFPB-2018-0006
Dear Ms. Jackson:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or bureau) Request for Information regarding consumer complaints.
Since it opened its doors, the CFPB has worked hard to make sure that banks, lenders, and other financial companies follow the law and are punished when they are caught cheating and ripping off consumers. The CFPB should keep up its good work to protect consumers from illegal fees and charges, fraud, deception, and other bad behavior.
I urge the CFPB not to make changes that would weaken the bureau’s ability to do its job. For example, the CFPB is reviewing many of its important functions, but it looks like an attempt to change how the agency works. Do not hurt the CFPB’s role as a watchdog for consumers like me in our dealings with banks, lenders (of mortgages, student loans, payday loans, car loans, etc.), debt collectors, and credit reporting agencies.
I am very concerned about the CFPB’s future plans for how it will treat consumer complaints. The CFPB has built a dynamic online complaint database that helps millions of us across the country who have encountered problems with financial companies. Currently, we can file complaints with the CFPB against financial companies, and the companies have the opportunity to respond to each complaint. Banks, lenders, and others have fixed problems with their products and services because of complaints sent to the CFPB.
People who file complaints can also choose to make their disputes available on the public online database, while it shields and protects their private information. This option has allowed other members of the public to go online to review complaints and learn whether a company has a good record of fixing problems.
I strongly support the CFPB’s public consumer complaint database. It is one of few options available for consumers to address problems with financial companies. I urge the CFPB to keep this tool available for the public to share our experiences with unfair and illegal financial practices. The complaint database should remain open and available for us to go online to review other complaints. The bureau should: make the database more user-friendly for consumers; make it possible for consumers to see how individual companies handle complaints; and require timely, tailored responses from the companies that are complained about.
Individual consumers like me have little power against bad actors in the financial industry, but the complaint database gives us some power because we can report and receive important information that helps us in our daily financial lives.
Thank you for considering my views.