CFPB publishes Consumer Complaint Data

The CFPB accepts consumer complaints about credit cards, mortgages, and other financial products, forwards them to the companies involved for response, makes the responses available to the consumer through a secure web portal, and where it deems it appropriate to do so, may refer complaints to the applicable regulatory agency. On June 19, 2012, the Bureau published a snap shot of consumer complaints received between July 21, 2011 and June 1, 2012. According to the snapshot, the most common consumer complaints were:

  • Mortgages: Problems when consumers were unable to pay mortgages, including issues related to loan modifications, collection, or foreclosure.
  • Credit Cards: Billing disputes, with customers reporting confusion with the process and limitations on challenging inaccuracies on monthly statements, and complaints about APR and interest rates.
  • Other bank products and services: Related to opening, closing, or managing the account, including confusing marketing, denial, fees, and statements. Other common complaints related to deposit and withdrawal issues such as transaction holds, unauthorized transactions, bounced checks, and overdraft and late fees.

A detailed data base of all credit card complaints collected by the CFPB, including the type of complaint, the name of the card issuer, whether the issuer responded, and how the complaint was resolved is also now publicly accessible on its website.

New Mortgage Rules Proposed

On July 9, 2012, the CFPB proposed and requested comment on a new rule providing for revised Integrated Mortgage Disclosures under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Reg X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Reg Z).

The proposed rule would amend Reg X and Reg Z by establishing new requirements and disclosures and combining them with existing requirements for most consumer credit transactions secured by real property. The proposed rule also provides for two new forms, the “Loan Estimate Form” and “Closing Disclosure Form.”

The new “Loan Estimate Form” would replace the existing RESPA “Good Faith Estimate” form, as well as the “early” TILA disclosure designed by the Federal Reserve Board, and incorporates new disclosures required by The Dodd-Frank Act. The “Closing Disclosure Form” would replace the current HUD-1, and also contains additional disclosures required by Dodd-Frank.

Final Rule Issued on Protecting Privilege

On July 5, 2012, the CFPB issued its final rule relating to the confidential treatment of information. The Bureau has authority to supervise and examine insured depository institutions and credit unions with assets of more than $10 billion as well as their affiliates and service providers, to assess their compliance with Federal consumer financial law, obtain information about their activities subject to such laws and their associated compliance systems or procedures, and to detect and assess risks to consumers and to markets for consumer financial products and services.

The rule is intended to ensure that disclosure of confidential privileged information to the Bureau in the course of its supervisory or regulatory processes, or by the Bureau’s exchange of privileged information with another Federal or State agency will not waive or otherwise affect any privilege that may be claimed by the person submitting the information with respect to such information under Federal or State law as to any other person or entity. It also provides that the Bureau’s provision of privileged information to another Federal or State agency will not waive any applicable privilege, whether the privilege belongs to the Bureau or any other person.