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TheStreet Open House

Time for the CFPB's One-Year Report Card

NEW YORK (LowCards.com) -- July 21 marked the one year anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, no small feat since right up until its first day on the job as a consumer watchdog there was a battle being waged in Congress over whether the agency should even exist in its proposed form, not even to mention the hemming and hawing and public posturing over who would be allowed to run the agency. In all, it's fair to say that the fight over the CFPB before it even existed took longer and accomplished less than the CFPB took care of in its first year of business.

The CFPB has proved to be agency of action so far, willing to stick up for consumers, particularly credit cardholders.

Created to enforce federal consumer financial laws and to supervise banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, the CFPB has already issued hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and has set up some systems that are proving beneficial to consumers.

The CFPB has tackled more than just credit card issues, including a major effort to overhaul mortgage disclosure and stop mortgage abuse, however, with credit cards a primary focus of the CFPB, here are some of the highlights of the CFPB during its first year in regards to cardholders:

Credit Card Complaints

The CFPB created a database to take credit card complaints and made this information public on June 19. Prior to this action, there was no way for consumers to see the complaints or response rate when comparing credit card issuers.

The CFPB's database shows which issuers have had the most complaints on their cards and how specific complaints were ultimately handled. The data can be viewed online by company, consumer zip code and type of complaint.

The CFPB reviews each complaint and forwards the ones that meet its criteria to the appropriate company for review and resolution. Companies have 15 days to provide a response to each consumer complaint. Most complaints are expected to be resolved and closed within 60 days. The filer can track the progress of the complaint and dispute the resolution provided by the financial institution. If the CFPB finds possible legal violations, it will work with other parts of the Bureau to deal with the potential violation. The database does not include private information.

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