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What Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

The 2008 financial crisis was the catalyst for creating the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created the CFPB. It began operation in 2011.

The CFPB aims to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans. This includes applying for a mortgagechoosing a credit card, or using other consumer financial products.

The CFPB is a federal regulator funded by the Federal Reserve. It drafts and enforces regulations for banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, and other financial services companies.

Functions and Responsibilities of the CFPB

The CFPB protects consumers from deceitful practices of lenders and various financial institutions. It takes on roles that the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies once handled. This includes overseeing financial institutions and lenders to ensure they follow federal regulations.

The CFPB performs the following functions:

  • Enforce federal anti-discrimination laws in consumer finance
  • Make rules, supervise, and enforce federal consumer financial protection laws
  • Alert consumers to possible risks in financial markets
  • Place restrictions on abusive, deceptive, or otherwise unfair practices
  • Research consumer behavior
  • Investigate consumer complaints
  • Educate consumers about finance

Engaging in rulemaking, the CFPB establishes clear guidelines for financial service providers. CFPB is one of the key federal regulators. It upholds consumer laws and protection standards. This includes the laws outlined in the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The Consumer Financial Protection Act forms the basis of CFPB's regulatory authority. The CFPB also enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Act ensures that the information held by consumer credit reporting agencies is accurate, fair, and private. The CFPB also addresses deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. This includes financial fraud and scams.

How To Submit a Complaint With the CFPB

If you suspect a financial institution is engaging in fraud, you should file a complaint with the CFPB. The best way to do this is through the complaint section of the CFPB's website. An attorney specializing in federal consumer financial law is also a great resource.

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