New 24-hour consumer complaint hotlines popping-up in major metro areas could increase the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s leads for investigations, according to a financial services attorney.
There are now 24-hour CFPB complaint hotlines in at least three major metro areas - Boston, Massachusetts; Newark, New Jersey; and Chicago, Illinois. The hotlines allow consumers to call at any time to talk to a customer representative from the CFPB about a complaint for financial services or products.
“The CFPB’s complaint system seems to be very structured; in a way where they will be able to hold a lot of companies’ feet to the fire,” said Barbara Mishkin, counsel at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Unlike other complaint systems that may have been in place. the CFPB can hold companies responsible for responding within certain timeframes, she said. Ignoring them can give the CFPB reason to examine them, she added.
The Federal Trade Commission was responsible for receiving consumer complaints in the past, but the CFPB is changing a lot of that, Mishkin added. They are now working closely together and sharing each other’s information, she said.
The CFPB seems to be partnering up with every city, state and agency lately. In May, the city of New York announced it would partner with CFPB under the Mayor’s Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund to help leaders and community members help families find, manage and build financial resources.