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How To Use New Consumer Site

April 13, 2012, 10:00 PM by Angela Kennecke

How To Use New Consumer Site

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established in response to the mortgage meltdown and series of abuses against consumers.  The agency wants to hear from consumers on everything from financial products to mortgages, credit cards and student loans.

Have a question about a reverse mortgage or a credit card?  You can now go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website and ask.  The agency has posted about 350 entries and you can submit your own question as well.

"So we're talking about all the ways people borrow and access money to live their lives; mortgages, credit cards, student loans, basic banking, savings accounts, debit cards.  Could be pay day loans; other types of transactions.  Debt collection is in our authority," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said.

The CFPB is an oversight bureau and is currently coming up with new rules for home loan services, including requiring statements that are easier to understand and warnings before interest rates change.   The CFPB wants to force mortgage services to provide direct and easy access for troubled borrowers. 

"They can expect continuity of contact so they don't call once and send in paperwork and no one remembers they ever talked with them and paperwork has been lost. It's happened repeatedly to many people across this country and it's poor customer service and it's something that the mortgage services need to clean up and under our authority, we'll be able to make them clean it up," Cordray said.

The CFPB says it needs consumers' help to find out where problems are in the financial industry and it's asking people to file complaints online. 

"They can bring those to us and we will work with financial institutions to try to get those complaints rectified.  That's an important think we're going to be able to do for Americans across the country and that's something that I think will make a difference, already is making a difference for people from what I hear from them about problems we've helped them resolve," Cordray said.

The agency will take input from consumers and the financial industry on the new rules for mortgage services over the summer and finalize then in January.

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