On December 6, 2017, the CFPB Published the Ombudsman’s Office 2017 Annual Report (“Report”). The CFPB Ombudsman assists consumers and a variety of entities in informally resolving process issues within the CFPB. The CFPB was chosen as one of four case studies in a report by the Administrative Conference of the United States regarding the use of ombudsmen in federal agencies.
Among other items, the Report includes discussion and feedback on the accessibility of CFPB print materials and telephone entry points for nonconsumers. The Report also provides updated information on the “memorializing of ex parte communications and consumers’ options to identify issues with companies when submitting consumer complaints, as published in the CFPB’s public Consumer Complaint Database.” Finally, the Report provides strategic plan goals to guide the Ombudsman’s Office over the next two years. The Report states that the Ombudsman’s Office will build on its Ombudsman Forum program to help resolve issues within the CFPB. Ombudsman Forums are anticipated to be held with consumer groups in each of the four CFPB regions over the next few years.