• CFPB Taking Consumer Debt Collection Complaints
  • August 7, 2013
  • Law Firm: Hinshaw Culbertson LLP - Chicago Office
  • As of July 10, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking complaints from consumers about all types of consumer debt collection, including auto loans, credit cards, medical bills, mortgages and student loans. Complaints may be lodged with the CFPB by telephone, fax or internet. Under this new system, the CFPB expects to reach a decision regarding the majority of the complaints within 60 days.

    The CFPB will collect the complaints and conduct a basic review within three days of receiving them. The complaint will then be delivered to the collection agency, which will have 15 calendar days to respond to the complaint. An agency may request an additional 60 days to respond, although the CFPB expects to keep tight control over its calendar.

    Responses to the complaint, including supporting information, will be provided to the consumer. The consumer will have 60 days to review and dispute the response. If the consumer disputes the response, the CFPB will engage in further investigation if warranted. If an investigation is commenced, a collection agency will have 10 days to respond to the CFPB. At this stage, the communication will be between the collection agency and the CFPB only, not the consumer.

    A complaint may be closed according to the following categories:

    • Closed with monetary relief.

    • Closed with nonmonetary relief (which may include steps taken to address a consumer's complaint involving nonmonetary requests).

    • Closed with explanation tailored to the individual complaint.

    • Closed without relief or explanation.

    The CFPB also developed five templates of action letters available on its website for use by consumers in communicating with collection agencies.