What Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
By: R. Kurtz 'Kurt" Holloway
Through rules, oversight, enforcement of the law, and In 2010 Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to the financial crisis to ensure that consumers have access to financial markets that are fair, transparent, and competitive.Through rules, oversight, enforcement of the law, and consumer engagement, the CFPB works to protect consumers, ensure they are treated fairly, and restore people’s trust and confidence in the markets they use for everyday financial products and services.
The work of the CFPB includes:
- Rooting out unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices by writing rules, supervising companies, and enforcing the law
- Enforcing laws that outlaw discrimination in consumer finance
- Taking consumer complaints
- Enhancing financial education
- Researching the consumer experience of using financial products
- Monitoring financial markets for new risks to consumers
The two areas where the CFPB interacts most directly with consumers is through education and taking people’s complaints about the financial practices of lenders, debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.
The CFPB’s offers educational resources for consumers are very varied and include videos, Ask the CFPB (frequently asked questions) and printed material. There is information to help parents financially educate their children and for people who handle other people’s money such as an agent under a power of attorney. The agency also offers training courses for financial educators.
Consumers can file complaints about third party lending, credit reporting and collections either on the CFPB website or by phone. After a consumer files a complaint the CFPB forwards the complaint to the company for a response. The CFPB reports that the vast majority of complaints it forwards to the companies are resolved. As of 6/13/2016 the CFPB had handled over 900,000 complaints from consumers.