Ten years ago, we began sharing information with the public from complaints submitted to us in the Consumer Complaints Database. Earlier this month, we published the three millionth complaint. Although many federal agencies accept complaints, too often these complaints are hidden from public view. By making complaint data publicly available, we increase transparency and create public accountability by clarifying the issues consumers face.
Congress has mandated the CFPB to ensure that consumers have access to fair, transparent, and competitive markets for consumer financial products and services. For example, we can write rules, review companies and take legal action to enforce the law.
We also collect, monitor and respond to consumer complaints. Through our complaints process, we receive complaints from businesses, usually within a day, so they can respond to issues consumers are having. But our work – and the impact of consumer complaints – doesn’t stop once a company has responded. We publish and use complaints as an essential part of how we prioritize our actions and identify problems in the market.
When an active duty military member, elderly American, homeowner, student borrower, or anyone from across America submits a complaint to us, they are contributing to our work and guiding the issues and problems we address next.
Here are some examples of how consumer voices shape our actions:
- Improved credit report system: We’ve released reports highlighting what we’re hearing from consumers, including service members, who report inaccuracies on their credit reports, difficulty resolving issues, inconsistencies in identities, and other issues. We’ve shared steps consumers can take to help hold credit reporting companies accountable and correct inaccuracies in their credit reports.
- Clarification of debts that can be collected: We hear from caregivers who say they are being sued for repaying friends or family members’ alleged debts to nursing facilities. The CFPB and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released a joint letter confirming that a nursing facility cannot require a third-party caregiver to personally guarantee payment of a nursing home resident’s bills. as a condition of admission of the resident to the establishment.
- Let’s take a close look at medical billing errors: We hear from patients about the financial impact of medical billing and recoveries experienced by individuals and families across the country. We have drawn attention to this issue and continue to review medical billing, including analyzing the potential impacts of medical debt and changes in credit reports.
- Launching an investigation into unwanted charges: We’ve long heard from consumers who said they’ve been surprised by fees: overdraft fees, insufficient funds (NSF) fees, late fees, additional fees, and more. Earlier this year, we launched an initiative to save households billions of dollars each year by reducing unwanted operating costs charged by banks and finance companies.
Consumers can continue to get answers to their concerns and can continue to help shape consumer financial market policy by submitting complaints to us. If you have a problem with a consumer financial product or service, you can file a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372.