by Jeff Sovern
Regular blog readers will recall consumer law expert Gene DeSantis's travails with TD Bank from his remarks a couple of weeks ago. The post also launched a Twitter debate. Despite his consumer law expertise and three or four calls to TD, including conversations with supervisors, Gene hit a stone wall, after which he complained to the CFPB. Today Gene reported:
I got an e-mail today from the CFPB saying the bank had responded to my complaint. TD Bank rescinded all the late fees, penalties, and interest (over $200) and they promised to advise credit reporting bureaus that I owe no money. TD Bank acknowledged that I had paid for the purchases in full, but not on time.
Gene's success after using the CFPB complaint function comes at the same time that the Trump administration, egged on by financial institutions, is seeking to deny the public access to the database. Just this week, WSJ published a piece about the issue, in which it also recounted a story about a consumer who had complained unsuccessfully to a financial institution, only to achieve a more favorable result after complaining to the CFPB. I have heard other such anecdotes. I wonder if anyone (the CFPB?) has data on how many consumers have obtained a better result after complaining to the CFPB than when they complained directly to the company. The different outcomes say a lot about why financial institutions object to the database.