CFPB To Officially Open Its Doors Tomorrow

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

As the House of Representatives votes on bills to weaken consumer protections for average Americans tomorrow the CFPB will be opening its doors and launching some great consumer resources. Timing is everything.

Perhaps, the most exciting new tool will be a toll free number for you to lodge your complaint about credit card companies. Come back tomorrow to get the toll free number and tell the CFPB how you feel about the credit card industry.

While the CFPB does not get their full authority until Richard Cordray’s nomination for Director is confirmed by the Senate here are some of the powers the watchdog will have starting tomorrow:

Make sure financial companies are following the law: The CFPB will oversee the financial marketplace and enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and unfair treatment of consumers. It will have the power to impose fines on companies that violate the law.

Collect and respond to consumer complaints: Consumers will be able to report complaints about financial practices through the CFPB’s web site (www.consumerfinance.gov) and a toll free number. Initially, the CFPB will collect consumer complaints on credit card abuses but it will eventually expand its complaint collection efforts to cover a full range of financial products.

Enact new protections to ensure consumers are treated fairly: A key part of the CFPB’s job will be to keep an eye out for emerging harmful financial products and practices and to enact new protections for consumers as needed.

Promote financial transparency: The CFPB will work to make sure that financial companies provide consumers with the information they need to make smart financial decisions. It is currently developing mortgage disclosure forms that aim to make it easier for consumers to understand the real cost of borrowing.

>In the meantime, write to your House member to fight against any efforts to weaken this consumer watchdog.

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