Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ombudsman Wendy Kamenshine issued the office’s 2019 Midyear Update with news on obtaining consumer complaint responses along with its Ombudsman Forum and Interactive programs completed this year. ACA International members who attended the Washington Insights Fly-In last May participated in one of the highly engaging interactive programs.
Overall, in the first six months of this year, the ombudsman received 581 inquiries from companies, individuals, consumer and trade groups.
The role of the ombudsman’s office is to provide independent, impartial and confidential resources for consumers, banks and nonbanks in resolving issues with the bureau. In that role, it also makes recommendations to the bureau.
For example, this year individuals contacted the office about “defendant-administered redress” and their eligibility for relief. In response, the ombudsman’s office reviewed how consumers can find if the redress is available in matters of payments and enforcement actions. The research by the office shows more information is available about redress from the bureau rather than defendants and the office provided recommendations to the bureau to further assist consumers, according to the report.
Some consumers also shared concerns on the CFPB’s act of forwarding complete complaints from consumers to the company for a response.
“To determine how we could assist the public and the CFPB, we reviewed, for example, the law, information each agency provides about its consumer complaint process, as well as agency privacy policies. Referrals from other agencies follow the CFPB’s consumer complaint process, which includes forwarding complaints to the company for a response,” the report states.
The ombudsman will release its complete annual report toward the end of the year with more details on these topics as well as summaries of its forum and interactive meetings.
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