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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is forthright about the purpose of its newest survey: “Taking in, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of the CFPB’s work,” the introduction reads.
To that end, the Consumer Response Annual Report (CRAR) summarizes the CFPB’s findings from the past year, identifying the most oft-cited pain points for consumers and tracking the resolution of their issues.
Director Richard Cordray says the CRAR is a key means for demonstrating to Congress that his Bureau is having an impact at the consumer level. “This report not only provides an accounting of our consumer response efforts,” Cordray writes, “but also shows that we have been successful in helping consumers resolve disputes with financial services companies.”
The first ever CRAR is based on 13,210 consumer complaints, filed since July 21, when the CFPB first began receiving comments. When the floodgates were opened this summer, complaints were limited to experiences reported by credit card customers; a request for comment about mortgage service began just before year’s end. As a result, 9,307 of the complaints from 2011 are about credit cards.
The CFPB says most of those 9,000+ complaints can be grouped into ten types, with billing disputes, identity theft issues, and complaints about interest rates leading the way.
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