‘Consumer complaint reporting process’ generates at least 23,200 letters in response to RFI

At least 23,200 letters commenting on consumer complaint reporting practices of the federal consumer financial protection agency had been recorded received as of midnight Monday, the deadline for comments set by the agency.

The receipt of more letters could be recorded over the next several days, given the volume of the letters received so far.

According to Regulations.gov (a web-based federal rulemaking application supporting the federal government in its rulemaking process), the comments sought by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as the CFPB) through its series of 12 “requests for information” (RFIs) are the second-most received so far in the series.

The letters on the consumer complaint reporting process, to date, make up more than one in four (26%) of the total nearly 89,000 recorded as received by the agency, according to Regulations.gov. The most letters received, so far – 55,048 — have been those commenting on the fourth RFI issued (on Feb. 21) about the agency’s supervision program. That comment period ended May 21. The letters make up 62% of all letters received for the BCFP’s RFI series.

Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney launched the RFI effort in January in a “call for evidence” from the public about how (or whether) the agency was doing its job. Following that, the agency issued the dozen RFIs; all were eventually issued with 90-day comment periods.

The RFI on consumer complaint reporting was issued March 1 by the agency. In the RFI, the bureau said it wanted to gauge the “usefulness” of complaint reporting and analysis. The agency said it sought specific suggestions for best practices of doing so. The bureau also said at the time that it was looking for comments about potential changes to its public reporting practices of consumer complaint information, and to consider whether any changes to the practices would be appropriate. It said it was also looking for comments related to its partial objective to “ensure that markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.”

The RFI on the consumer complaint reporting process was the sixth issued by the agency. In doing so, the bureau drew a distinction between the topic covered by that request, and another it planned to issue (and later did, the last in the series) on consumer complaint and consumer inquiry handling processes.

The difference between the RFI on “consumer complaint reporting process” from the later one (for which comments are due July 16), CFPB said, is that the former request “seeks feedback on all aspects of its consumer complaint reporting and publication practices; the Bureau is not seeking comment in this RFI on consumer inquiries and related process activities.”

CFPB Issues Request For Information On Consumer Complaint Reporting