Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation

 

Advisory Notice

 

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July 28, 2011

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Now Fully Operational

In July 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“The Act”). The Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB consolidates most Federal consumer financial protection authority in one place. The consumer bureau is focused on one goal: watching out for American consumers in the market for consumer financial products and services.

The CFPB became fully operational this week. Among other things, the CFPB:

  • Conducts rule-making, supervision, and enforcement for Federal consumer financial protection laws;
  • Restricts unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices;
  • Takes consumer complaints;
  • Promotes financial education;
  • Researches consumer behavior;
  • Monitors financial markets for new risks to consumers;
  • Enforces laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance.

The CFPB’s Consumer Response Center began accepting credit card complaints yesterday on its newly redesigned website and through a toll-free number 1-855-411-2372. Although the CFPB is only taking complaints specifically on credit card issues at this time, they will address other complaints filed through this phone line. Over the coming months, the agency will expand its Consumer Response Center to handle complaints about other consumer financial products and services under its jurisdiction, including referring distressed homeowners to housing counselors via the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline 1-888-995-HOPE™, a hotline staffed by HUD-approved credit counselors who can guide you through possible options.