Since 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has invited consumers to file complaints against lenders and other financial institutions. For the most part, the CFPB has asked consumers to share the facts involved in any disputes they were involved in. Now, the CFPB is asking for more — inviting consumers to share their side of the story, not just the facts.
The update is a small victory for consumers and a potentially big loss for financial institutions who may be exposed for wrongdoing and illegal practices. Consumers may detail their experience by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov and uploading an anonymous narrative. The goal of the forum is to improve the overall quality of the products and services that the CFPB oversees. By letting consumers voice their account of a dispute, the CFPB hopes to identify industry trends and hold lenders and financial institutions accountable for their actions.
The new update is expected to cause big lenders and large corporations to sweat a bit, as until now, they have held the power and advantage in the majority of consumer disputes. In the past, consumers have been able to voice their side of the story, but not to the extent that the CFPB is now allowing. When disputes go to arbitration, lenders and corporations are typically represented by a legal council while consumers often go it alone.