The government watchdog, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will officially be up and running July 21. The CFPB was created to protect against financial scams and rip-offs. Consumers will be able to report such activity to the bureau.
Created by last year’s Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, the CFPB’s goals include making sure financial companies provide consumers with the information they need to understand the true costs and risks of various financial products, such as loans. The agency is also tasked with identifying and stopping deceptive and abusive financial practices and maintain up-to-date rules governing financial service products.
Congressional members opposed to the creation of the CFPB have made it clear they will not confirm a director to the watchdog group unless its powers are scaled back. Earlier this year, Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, called on Congress to reject efforts to weaken the CFPB.
Among other actions, the CFPB will:
- Enact consumer protections as needed.
- Collect and respond to consumer reports of unfair financial practices.
- Oversee the financial marketplace and enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and unfair treatment of consumers, and impose fines on companies for violating the law.
- Promote financial transparency such as mortgage disclosure forms that make layout the real cost of borrowing.
Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said the bureau will bring fairness to the financial marketplace and “ensure families don’t get tripped up by tricks and traps buried deep in the fine print.”
You can report financial abuses or learn more about the CFPB at www.consumerfinance.gov.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches on July 21 [Consumers Union]