Read the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's 2013 Consumer Reponse Annual Report, which is the agency's name for its comprehensive report on consumer complaints to the agency. Among other things, it explains how the CFPB handles complaints and then reviews complaints by type, including, for instance, debt collection, mortgages, credit cards, and payday loans. CFPB director Richard Cordray's instroduction to the report is reproduced after the jump.
Director Cordray's introduction
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or the Bureau) began consumer response operations on July 21, 2011 as the nation’s first federal agency specifically mandated to protect American consumers in the financial marketplace. As this report shows, our Office of Consumer Response (Consumer Response) has continued to make great strides over the last year, expanding the CFPB’s ability to engage consumers that face financial challenges and bring their concerns to the attention of companies. The CFPB now accepts complaints about a wide range of products and services that people use every day, including mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, bank accounts, payday loans, debt collection, credit reporting, and money transfers. Consumers can submit a complaint on our website or by calling us toll-free, where we provide services to consumers in more than 180 languages. Consumer Response continues to work toward expanding the CFPB’s complaint handling to include other products and services under the Bureau’s authority, such as prepaid cards. Every complaint the CFPB receives makes a difference. At an individual level, we have helped consumers secure millions of dollars in monetary relief and further satisfaction in the form of non-monetary relief, such as cleaning up their credit reports, stopping harassment from debt collectors, and correcting account information. At a market level, complaints give us insight into what is happening to consumers around the country, right now. They enable us to listen to, and amplify, the concerns of any American who wants to be heard. They are also our compass, and make a difference by informing our work and help ing us identify and prioritize problems for potential supervisory, enforcement, and regulatory action. Through our public Consumer Complaint Database, launched by Consumer Response in June 2012, others can learn from consumers’ complain ts too. By making anonymized complaint data publicly available, we hope to improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market. The database, available on our website, is already being used by consumers, advocacy groups, businesses, policy makers, and journalists as a resource for spotting trends in the marketplace that they then share with the public. Through these various approaches, we are putting the voices of consumers at the center of the Bureau’s work. Many companies are adapting to this focus to become more directly responsive to consumer concerns. We continue to work to fulfill Congress’s vision that we stand on the side of consumers to help improve their financial lives. Through their complaints, consumers help us to make the marketplace a better and safer place, not only for them but for responsible businesses as well.