Consumer complaints about financial products and services, such as home and auto loans, are more than just statistics. They indicate the real and difficult challenges people face as they try to navigate the financial seas.Consumer bureau allows aggrieved customers to share their stories with the public. So, as of last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (cfpb.gov) began allowing aggrieved customers to share their stories with the public, not just the bureau, which is the federal watchdog agency established as a result of the mortgage meltdown.
Since the CFPB hit the ground running in July 2011, it has taken nearly 600,000 complaints, mostly about mortgages and debt collection. It also fields grievances about many other financial products, including credit reports, payday lending and credit cards.
The complaints have helped the CFPB understand the issues consumers face when dealing with lenders and collection companies, and have led to dozens of new regulations to protect people from further abuses. Now, by allowing disgruntled consumers to publicly share their versions of what went down, the agency will help other consumers avoid becoming just another number in a statistical database.
The decision to publish customer narratives "will serve to empower consumers by helping them make informed decisions and helping track trends in the consumer financial market," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in announcing the new policy. "Narratives help humanize the problems consumers face ... (They) shed light on the full consumer perspective."
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