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CFPB Handles 20,000 Consumer Complaints Per Week

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sends 20,000 complaints to companies for responses every week.

“I am proud of the CFPB’s work in getting consumers the resolutions they deserve, often through referrals from local organizations, Congressional offices and many others,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said Thursday (Nov. 30) in his opening statement during the bureau’s Semiannual Report to Congress.

Over the last two years, the CFPB’s supervision and enforcement program has obtained $8 billion in victim redress and penalties while focusing on large, repeat offenders, Chopra told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

These efforts are “protecting both consumers and honest financial firms who must compete against those who egregiously violate the law,” Chopra said.

Since the CFPB’s previous semiannual report, the bureau has proposed a rule to accelerate the shift to open banking, begun a process to improve accuracy and accountability in credit reporting, taken steps to address medical bill-related inaccuracies on credit reports, and uncovered illegal junk fee practices, Chopra said.

The CFPB also continues to modernize its approach and shift resources toward the Big Tech companies and nonbanks that are playing a larger role in providing financial services, Chopra said.

“The CFPB has taken steps this year, including a proposed rule, to ensure that these companies adhere to the same rules as large banks, credit unions and other financial institutions,” Chopra said.

The bureau is making the changes and enforcing the rules at a time when household debt is increasing. For example, consumers’ total outstanding credit card debt topped $1 trillion for the first time, auto loan payments are consuming a greater share of consumers’ income, and the average monthly payments on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased 46% between 2021 and 2022, Chopra said.

To protect these borrowers, the CFPB is working to increase competition among lenders and monitor the practices of loan servicers, Chopra said.

Chopra’s remarks before the Senate committee came a day after Rep. Patrick McHenry, chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, said the CFPB vilifies the financial services industry.

“The ongoing barrage of press releases from the CFPB is misleading at best,” McHenry said Wednesday (Nov. 29). “They all too often paint with a broad brush to vilify entire sectors of the financial services industry, and even the U.S. financial system as a whole — rather than targeting bad actors.”