CFPB Credit Card Complaint Database Made Public
Despite protests from the financial industry, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is making its online credit card complaint database available to the public today. The information can show which issuers have had the most complaints on their cards and how specific complaints were ultimately handled. The data can be viewed online by company, consumer zip code and type of complaint.
The CFPB began taking credit card complaints on July 21, 2011. Through June 1, 2012, the Bureau had received nearly 17,000 credit card complaints.
Billing disputes are the most common complaint, followed by interest rate issues. More than 2,000 complaints received financial compensation from the issuer to the consumer with $25 being the most common amount of compensation (the median amount was $130).
“By making our data publicly available, initially in the area of credit cards, we hope to improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement.
Until now, complaints against lenders were kept private. There was no way to include complaints or response rate when comparing credit card issuers.
The CFPB will update the database. It reviews each complaint and forwards the ones that meet its criteria to the appropriate company for review and resolution. Companies have 15 days to provide a response to each consumer complaint. Most complaints are expected to be resolved and closed within 60 days. The filer can track the progress of the complaint and dispute the resolution provided by the financial institution. If the CFPB finds possible legal violations, it will work with other parts of the Bureau to deal with potential violation. The database will not include private information.
The CFPB may expand its database to include complaints on other financial products and consumer loans such as mortgages and private student loans.
Consumers wishing to file a complaint about these financial products may do so on the CFPB website.