Have a Credit Card Complaint? New Gov’t Agency Could Help

Consumer Financial Protection BureauLate last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors for business. The fledgling agency was created as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) with a concentrated focus on consumer welfare, rather than on bank safety or monetary policy. It centralizes responsibilities that previously had been spread across many different government agencies.

The CFPB was designed to be the “cop on the beat” to protect consumers from financial scams and abusive practices. Now, consumers have someone they know they can turn to when they have a problem with a financial institution. If you’re having a problem with your credit card company, it’s still best practice to talk with them first to see if the issue can get resolved. However, if that fails, you can now file a complaint with the CFPB as well.

The CFPB will forward the complaint to the financial insitutition within 48 hours. Within 10 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the financial institution is expected to investigate and resolve the matter. After the complaint is closed, the consumer will receive notification from the CFPB. It is not, however, the intention of the CFPB to mediate any disputes.

In addition to taking customer complaints, the CFPB has a number of other core responsibilities, including:

  • Conduct rule-making, supervision, and enforcement for Federal consumer financial protection laws
  • Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
  • Promote financial education
  • Research consumer behavior
  • Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers
  • Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance

For more info, see www.consumerfinance.gov.

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