Senator Elizabeth Warren is famously known for her work in consumer protection. Before being elected to the United States Senate in 2012, Senator Warren was responsible for founding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This government agency was created in the wake of the great financial meltdown of 2008 and is tasked with protecting the consumer in the financial sector, including against mortgage lenders and debt collectors. This is actually a wonderful, if little known, agency that actually works for the working families of America. Let’s explore exactly what this agency does and how you, the consumer, can take advantage of the benefits it offers.
Mission of the CFPB
The mission statement listed on the Bureau’s website states, “We are… a governmental agency that makes sure banks, lenders and other financial companies treat you fairly.” The Bureau’s website contains numerous blogs and articles setting out current actions being taken on behalf of consumers and future plans to do so. A few examples include its enforcement action again JP Morgan Chase for its practices in selling delinquent credit card accounts to debt buyers – “We’re ordering JP Morgan Chase to Refund $50 Million and Stop Collecting on 580,000 Accounts”; new protections against loss of homes to foreclosure – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Expands Foreclosure Protections; and help against debt collection – We’re Working to Improve Fairness and Transparency in the Debt Collection Market For You.
CFPB Finance Tools
The Bureau’s website also contains several very helpful tools to manage your finances. Some of these tools include how to prepare for home ownership, and what you need to know about student loans and retirement planning. One of the integral functions of the Bureau is in giving consumers a place to lodge complaints against lenders who may be taking advantage of the consumer or simply not playing by the rules. The website contains an online complaint form that you can submit in order to have your claims investigated. It also includes a list of companies for which complaints have been filed in order to you to research any company you may have question about before doing business with them.
Finally, the website has a section that answers commonly asked questions about finances. It covers a host of topics from auto loans to student loans. The information provided by the Bureau on these topics is basic but very important in understanding the best way to manage your finances.
If you are considering a filing for bankruptcy relief and wish to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney about the impact of BAPCPA on your options, please contact one of our locations nearest you in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee for a free, confidential consultation.
Carla M. Handy is the Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Gadsden and Anniston, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. She has been helping families navigate consumer bankruptcy cases since 1994.Read her full bio here.