Feds seek to air consumer finance complaints - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Feds seek to air consumer finance complaints

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Ohio State under shadow again, this time with band

    Ohio State under shadow again, this time with band

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:45:52 GMT
    The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
    Having forced out a beloved football coach and watched its president retire after a series of verbal gaffes, Ohio State University again finds itself grabbing headlines with the firing of a celebrated marching band...More >>
  • Baby dies after being left in hot car in Kansas

    Baby dies after being left in hot car in Kansas

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:56:40 GMT
    Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.More >>
    A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an...More >>
  • Judge dismisses lawsuit over Amelia Earhart search

    Judge dismisses lawsuit over Amelia Earhart search

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:23:25 GMT
    A federal judge has dismissed a Wyoming man's lawsuit claiming a group secretly found the missing airplane of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in the South Pacific but kept it quiet so it could continue to raise...More >>
    A federal judge on Friday dismissed a Wyoming man's claims that an aircraft recovery group secretly found wreckage of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart's missing airplane in the South Pacific but kept it quiet so it...More >>
By JEFF HORWITZ
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has heard from hundreds of thousands of consumers who feel wronged by banks and finance companies. Now the agency wants the public to hear from those consumers too.

On Wednesday, the bureau proposed allowing consumers to publish online the details of their complaints against lenders and financial service providers. Those narratives would augment the bureau's consumer complaint database, which lists complaints about checking accounts, credit cards, student loans and other financial products. If consumers choose to make their complaints public, the companies involved would then be given a chance to write a public response.

"By proposing to share people's stories, we are giving consumers an opportunity to be heard by the entire world and not simply by a government agency and its officials," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in remarks prepared for a Thursday event in El Paso, Texas.

The consumer bureau's current database simply lists the company being complained about, a general subject matter like "deposits and withdrawals," and whether the complaint has been resolved. By adding the narratives, the bureau believes it will help consumers determine where to take their business and identify systemic problems. A similar complaint reporting system is already in place at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which seeks to identify dangerous products from appliances to toys.

Consumer groups were elated by the bureau's proposal, which Ruth Susswein, a deputy director at Consumer Action, called "essential for consumers to protect themselves." Banks have complained bitterly about the CFPB's existing database, however, so plans to add to it are unlikely to be popular with the industry.

"I don't think it's the role of the government to get into an Internet gripe site business," said Alan Kaplinksy, an attorney with Ballard Spahr LLP, which defends banks from consumer litigation. "My clients are already very concerned about consumer complaints."

Though the CFPB will verify that consumers have a relationship with the entities they complain about before posting the complaints, "the allegations are unverified," Kaplinsky said. "And we can all acknowledge that consumers are sometimes right, but many times they're wrong."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow