CFPB Works with Local Governments to Protect Consumers | So Good News
On November 18, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a blog post detailing recent efforts to share consumer complaints with cities and counties in order to, “increase their efforts to protect consumers in local areas.”
According to the CFPB, one of the main ways it regulates consumer financial products is to protect consumers from unfair practices and collect and respond to consumer complaints. The complaints it receives inform the CFPB’s regulatory and enforcement requirements. The CFPB recently introduced a process to increase the effectiveness of its complaint data sharing with local governments. The CFPB says this will protect as many consumers as possible from foreclosures, foreclosures, and other consumer harm.
Initially, the CFPB selected cities and counties that were best suited to benefit from the CFPB’s complaints as: (1) Local governments with jurisdiction over criminal or criminal cases; and (2) Local governments that have, or are working to establish, financial development offices to improve the financial stability of low-income families. The CFPB then began onboarding local governments to its Government Portal, which gives agencies access to more information about consumer complaints and company responses than is available on public websites.
The Government Portal allows cities and counties to:
- See in real time what consumers are experiencing in the financial market and how companies are responding;
- Download complaints and supporting documents to investigate and enforce consumer protection laws;
- Compare the problems their people are facing with other regions and the whole country;
- Analyze data by time, company, geography, and more;
- Securely submit individual complaints to the CFPB;
- Receive a list of companies responding to complaints.
In less than three months, more than a dozen cities and counties have expressed interest in accessing the Government Portal. Jurisdictions participating in the program include: Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Due to the uncertain future of the CFPB, this may indicate that the CFPB is focusing its resources to cooperate with state and federal governments to improve its policies, thereby ensuring that its work will continue even if its funding or authority is significantly reduced.