Last of ‘RFIs’ from CFPB issued; focus on agency’s system for collecting consumer complaints and inquiries

“Consumer complaints and inquiries” is the focus of the 12th, and last, of the “requests for information” from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the quest of the agency’s acting director to uncover evidence of how the agency is doing its job.

Comments will be due in 90 days; the first of the RFIs was released 12 weeks ago.

In its notice submitted for publication in the Federal Register, CFPB said the purpose of the RFI is to gather public input about potential changes that can be made to the agency’s consumer complaint and inquiry handling processes that establish reasonable procedures to provide timely responses to consumers and “centralize the collection of consumer complaints regarding consumer financial products or services.”

“The Bureau is seeking comments and information from interested parties to assist the Bureau in assessing its handling of consumer complaints and consumer inquiries and, consistent with law, considering whether changes to its processes would be appropriate,” the agency said in a release, noting that (to date), it has received 1.5 million consumer complaints. Last year, the agency states in its filings with the Register, CFPB handled more than 320,000 consumer complaints.

More specifically, the agency said it is seeking comments that provide:

  • Specific discussion of the positive and negative aspects of its complaint and inquiry processes;
  • Specific suggestions regarding any potential updates or modifications to the complaint and inquiry processes, including details about the nature of the modification, and supporting data or other information on impacts and costs;
  • Specific best practices for complaint and inquiry, including how to ensure consumers are “provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions and centralizing the collection of consumer complaints about consumer financial products or services.”

Request for Information Regarding the Bureau’s Consumer Complaint and Consumer Inquiry Handling Processes