The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday that it may begin taking consumer complaints related to home mortgages as early as tomorrow.
The CFPB's consumer response office began processing complaints related to credit cards on July 21, but other banking regulators have continued to process other types of consumer complaints as the agency's systems get off the ground. The CFPB issued a report Wednesday on the first three months of collecting credit card data and complaints, and said it will begin taking complaints and inquiries related to mortgages "on or about Dec. 1."
The release said the agency expects to be ready to handle complaints for all financial products and services by the end of 2012. It said the information gathered on the complaint process for credit cards will help improve the system as it prepares to expand into new categories of financial products.
"When consumers contact us, we get a snapshot of how the consumer finance markets are working," Raj Date, the bureau's interim leader, said in the release. "And we are learning that there is a lot of consumer confusion about credit card terms. We will continue to work with consumers, credit card companies, government agencies, and others to improve consumer education and ensure CFPB's regulation, supervision, and enforcement efforts are effective."
The bureau has received more than 5,000 complaints so far, about 3,100 of which companies said they resolved. Consumers disputed the adequacy of the response in about 400 of those cases, or less than 13% of the time, according to the report.
The report also noted that most of the complaints related to consumer confusion over credit card terms and associated products, as well as fraudulent credit card charges made by third parties, and factual disputes between the consumer and issuer.
In conjunction with the report, CFPB is also requesting comment on its proposed policy for disclosing credit card complaint data. The policy would make available a searchable public database, and the bureau is seeking input on ways to effectively filter out confidential personal information from the complaints.