With the election behind us, there are many questions about what consumer protection role the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will have going forward. Today’s edition of The Consumerist notes: “Even before the CFPB launched in 2011, it’s been opposed by many in the financial industries, and by the lawmakers they back.” Many banks, debt collectors, and payday loan lenders have already paid back millions to consumers as a result of the CFPB’s work and investigations so a diminished role could have a negative consumer impact.
Every six months, the CFPB releases its semi-annual report that highlights its important work. According to the Spring 2016 report:
In the six months covered by this report, our supervisory actions resulted in financial institutions providing more than $44 million in redress to over 177,000 consumers. During that timeframe we also announced orders through enforcement actions for approximately $82 million in total relief for consumers who fell victim to various violations of consumer financial protection laws.
So, what can you do to ensure the continued viability of the CFPB?
- Talk to your U.S. Representatives and Senators. Contact my office if you would like specific information on your district’s representatives and who to call or write.
- File a consumer complaint online with the CFPB at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/.
- Learn more about other advocacy organizations, such as the National Association of Consumer Advocates and National Consumer Law Center.
Most of all, stay informed and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Don’t ignore collection letters, be sure to monitor your credit report, and feel free to report bad acts to the Better Business Bureau and your local Attorney General. The more we let our political leaders know consumers need assistance, the harder it will be to chip away at those protections. It’s a long road ahead but together, we can continue to battle injustice.