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Mid-year update on student loan complaints

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Mid-year update on student loan complaints (PDF)
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The CFPB received more than 3,100 private student loan complaints between October 1, 2014, and March 31, 2015, a 34% increase over the prior reporting period. The CFPB also received approximately 1,100 debt collection complaints related to student loans during this period.

Many private student lenders advertise options to release a co-signer from a private student loan. However, lenders’ and servicers’ policies related to this benefit are often opaque and may create significant roadblocks for borrowers seeking to release a cosigner. Most lenders and servicers generally do not proactively notify borrowers when they may be eligible. Consequently, the overwhelming majority of private student loan borrowers in our sample did not apply for a co-signer release. Of those who did apply, the rejection rate was 90%, on a weighted average basis.

Agencies Issue Final Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices of Regulated Entities

June 10, 2015 Comments off

Agencies Issue Final Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices of Regulated Entities
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Securities and Exchange Commission

Federal agencies today issued a final interagency policy statement establishing joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.

Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 required the Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at each agency to be responsible for all matters relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities. The Dodd-Frank Act also instructed each OMWI director to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the agencies’ regulated entities.

The final standards, which are generally similar to the proposed standards, provide a framework for regulated entities to create and strengthen their diversity policies and practices—including their organizational commitment to diversity, workforce and employment practices, procurement and business practices, and practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion within the entities’ U.S. operations.

Planning for financial decisions as you age

June 2, 2015 Comments off

Planning for financial decisions as you age
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Though it’s hard to think about, as we age, sometimes we lose the ability to manage our own money and property. We often think about our financial capability, like our ability to drive, as an important measure of our independence. But planning ahead may actually help you stay in control.

Here at the CFPB, we worked with our federal partners at the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a Consumer Advisory and Investor Bulletin on planning for the future, when you may not be able to manage your money and property. This is often referred to as diminished capacity. The advisory has advice on planning for your financial future, getting your documents in order, and watching out for financial exploitation.

If age-related decline seems far in the distant future, this advisory is still a useful tool for you too, as it can help you help your parents or other loved ones. It stresses the importance of talking with them about advance planning before it’s too late. It also has good tips to help you to manage their money when the time comes.

2014 Fair Lending Report

May 6, 2015 Comments off

2014 Fair Lending Report
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

We’ve taken important strides over the last year in our efforts to protect consumers from credit discrimination and broaden access to credit, as we identify new fair lending risks and monitor institutions for compliance. This report describes our fair lending activities in supervision, enforcement, rulemaking, interagency coordination, outreach, and interagency reporting.

CFPB — Complaints received from servicemembers, veterans, and their families 2011-2014

April 30, 2015 Comments off

Complaints received from servicemembers, veterans, and their families 2011-2014
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

This is our third report detailing the data and trends surrounding complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their families. In this report, you’ll find the numbers behind the complaints we’ve received, as well as information on our outreach efforts, and details on recent Enforcement actions affecting the military community. This year’s report also includes a section that highlights the account access problems the military often faces, and the problems that can result.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Annual Report 2015

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Annual Report 2015
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

We’re pleased to submit to Congress our fourth annual report summarizing activities to administer the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This year’s report describes activities conducted by the CFPB and the FTC during 2014 in relation to debt collection. The CFPB and the FTC work closely to coordinate debt collection enforcement actions among other matters related to debt collection.

This report provides a background of the debt collection market; contains an overview of consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB in 2014; summarizes the Bureau’s supervisory activities in the debt collection market; describes the Bureau’s and the Commission’s enforcement actions; presents the CFPB’s and FTC’s consumer education and outreach initiatives; and discusses developments in the Bureau’s rulemaking activities, and the FTC’s policy and research initiatives.

Arbitration Study: Report to Congress 2015

March 11, 2015 Comments off

Arbitration Study: Report to Congress 2015
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
From press release:

After considering dozens of comment letters and meetings with external stakeholders, we looked at nearly 850 consumer-finance agreements to examine the prevalence of arbitration clauses and their terms. We also reviewed more than 1,800 consumer finance arbitration disputes filed over a period of three years and more than 3,400 individual federal court lawsuits. We also looked at 42,000 credit card cases filed in selected small claims court in 2012.

We supplemented this research by assembling and analyzing a set of roughly 420 consumer financial class action settlements in federal courts over a period of five years and over 1,100 state and federal public enforcement actions in the consumer finance area. We also conducted a national survey of 1,000 consumers with credit cards concerning their knowledge and understanding of arbitration and other dispute resolution mechanisms.

We believe this is the most thorough empirical research on this subject, to date.

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