CFPB Report on Credit Card Complaints Proposes Publicly Accessible Database of Complaint Data

02 December 2011 Consumer Class Defense Counsel Blog

The CFSL Bulletin

The website of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) has been soliciting consumer complaints since the CFPB opened for business on July 21, 2011. The CFPB has issued an interim report, detailing the 5,074 complaints the CFPB has received from consumers through November 15, 2011, and now proposes a publicly accessible database of consumer credit card complaints.

Of the complaints received by the CFPB through November 15, 2011, card issuers reported full or partial resolution of the complaints in 3,151 cases (74%), no relief granted in 845 cases (19.8%), and continuing issuer review of the complaints in 258 cases (6.1%). Of the reported resolutions, consumers confirmed that the complaints were satisfactorily resolved in 2,238 cases (71%) and disputed in 400 cases (12.7%), with the 513 cases (16.3%) pending the consumer’s review of the issuer’s reported resolution.

According to the CFPB, the most frequent complaint types, as identified by the consumers, are billing disputes (13.4%), APR or interest rate (11.0%), and identity theft, fraud or embezzlement (10.8%). No other identified category of complaint accounted for more than 5% of the total complaints received.

The CFPB also proposes to publicize certain information it receives from completed complaint submissions.

According to a notice and request for comments to be published soon in the Federal Register, the CFPB proposes to create a publicly accessible database of certain data derived from credit card complaints made by consumers to the CFPB. The proposed database would be fully searchable and downloadable by the public and would contain certain non-narrative information provided by consumers, including the name of the card issuer, the type of complaint, the date of the complaint and the zip code of the complaining consumer.

Confidential personally information about the complaining consumer–such as the consumer’s name, address (other than zip code), and card number–would not be included in the database. The CFPB does not intend to include consumers’ narrative comments at this time.

When an issuer represents to the CFPB that it has been wrongly identified as the issuer of a card subject to a complaint, the CFPB will not disclose the issuer’s name pending its determination of the correct issuer.

The public comment period will end January 12, 2012.

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