The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
(CFPB) has teamed up with the City of Newark to provide an immediate and
accessible conduit for consumer complaints about financial products and
services. Residents of the New Jersey city
have a local non-emergency hotline they can call to access city services and
now when they dial 4311 with a relevant question or complaint they will be
transferred to the CFPB Consumer Response Team.
"The CFPB's job is to help consumers
navigate the often confusing financial marketplace and to hold financial
institutions accountable," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Through this
coordination, we will be able to reach and to help consumers who may not have
found us otherwise."
The Bureau began accepting
complaints and questions in July 2011, starting with credit cards and gradually
adding mortgages, student loans, and credit reporting issues to the list. To date the Bureau has received 130,000 on-line
and telephone submissions.
The Consumer Response Department screens
complaints for completeness, jurisdiction, and non-duplication. Complaints that
meet these criteria are then sent to the company (bank or nonbank) for review
and response. Companies are given 15 days to provide a response and are
expected to close all but the most complicated complaints within 60 days.
Consumers can log into the CFPB's website to check the status of their
complaint and to provide feedback about the company's response.