The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has long been an advocate of consumer rights. Recently, they have teamed up with the city of Newark to more effectively help those who feel they have been victims of credit fraud. The CFPB continues to add services to its scope, and they were quickly overwhelmed with the number of calls and complaints they were receiving. In order to help manage the workload, they have started a partnership with the city of Newark.
Citizens in Newark can dial 4311 to access the city services hotline. This is where they call for a whole host of questions regarding services that the city offers. With this recent partnership, however, those who have complaints about credit cards, mortgages, and other banking related matters will be transferred to the CFPB. From there, the process will follow suit with standard practices for complaints.
Back in July of 2011, the CFPB began accepting complaints on credit cards. Until this time consumers who have felt they were cheated really did not have anywhere to turn. The overwhelming success has caused the Bureau to add other services to its menu including various types of loans, banking, and credit reporting. Basically, those who have a complaint on how any aspect of their banking or borrowing is going can contact the CFPB and hopefully get the problem resolved. Since the launch in 2011, the Bureau has fielded over 130,000 complaints.
As a third party watchdog group, the customer can be assured that the complaint is not just dismissed. When calling, the CFPB will monitor complaints for accuracy, legitimacy, and originality. They will document all the necessary details and pass the information along to the business in question. For most complaints, the company will then have 15 days to respond (60 days for those that are more complicated) and fix the problem. The results are then passed through the CFPB back to the consumer, and the complaint is kept on file. If a more serious allegation is brought forth, the complaint and additional details will be passed on to local law enforcement personnel.
This new partnership will not really change the whole structure of the complaint system. The CFPB will continue to function as it always has. However, this new partnership with the city of Newark is designed to ease the burden of the incoming calls and complaints (130,000 complaints in approximately 18 months comes out to 240 complaints every day, seven days per week). The partnership is a sort of test program to see how well it will work, and if it works out the way the CFPB is hoping, many more cities will soon be added to the list of partnerships. The burden of incoming calls will be lessened, and the Bureau will be able to continue to be an advocate for consumers, ensuring that they will not be taken advantage of.
Do you think you have been a victim of credit fraud? Maybe you have just had to endure some unscrupulous banking or lending practices? If you have a complaint, visit the complaint section of the site and see what your options are for making sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore.