Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

In response to the 2007 financial crisis, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB.)  Important consumer protection powers were scattered across seven different federal agencies prior to the creation of the CFPB.  Now these powers are consolidated into the single agency, the CFPB. 

Since July 2011, the CFPB has taken a proactive role in enforcing regulations, and protecting and educating consumers.  The CFPB:

  • Supervises large banks, credit unions and other financial companies for compliance with federal consumer financial laws.
  • Enforces laws to prevent businesses from using unfair, deceptive, and/or abusive tactics in consumer markets.
  • Accepts consumer complaints and stories about consumer experiences.
  • Promotes financial education and offers various guides and reports to help consumers understand their options in financial situations.
  • Hosts an extensive “Know Before You Owe” webpage to educate consumers about the costs and risks of credit cards, mortgages, and student loans.
  • Researches consumer behavior.

 

The CFPB has responsibility over these federal regulations

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
The ECOA makes it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HDMA)
The HMDA requires financial institutions to maintain and disclose annually data about home purchases, home purchase pre-approvals, home improvement, and refinance applications.

Alternative Mortgage Parity Act (AMPA)
The AMPA preempts state laws that restrict banks from making any mortgage other than conventional fixed rate amortizing mortgages.

Electronic Funds Transfers Act (EFTA)
The EFTA establishes the rights and liabilities of consumers, as well as the responsibilities of all participants, in electronic funds transfer activities.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA identifies and addresses abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, promotes fair debt collection, and provides consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information's accuracy.

S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act
This act enhances consumer protections and reduces fraud by encouraging states to establish minimum standards for the licensing and registration of state-licensed mortgage loan originators.

Disclosure Requirements for Depository Institutions Lacking Federal Deposit Insurance
This law applies to all depository institutions lacking Federal Deposit Insurance.  It requires the disclosure of certain insurance-related information in periodic statements, account records, locations where deposits are normally received, and in advertisements.  It also requires such depository institutions to obtain a written acknowledgment from depositors regarding the institution's lack of Federal Deposit Insurance.

Land Registration Act (LRA)
The LRA restricts developers from selling or leasing lots in a subdivision, making use of any means or instruments of transportation or communication in interstate commerce, or of the mails, unless a Statement of Record is in effect.

Purchasers’ Revocation Rights, Sales Practices and Standards Act (PRRSPSA)
PRRSPSA defines the conditions in which a consumer may exercise revocation rights in a housing transaction and sets forth examples of unlawful sales practices.

Consumer Leasing Act (CLA)
This act ensures that lessees of personal property receive meaningful disclosures that enable them to compare lease terms with other leases and, where appropriate, with credit transactions.

Mortgage Acts and Practices-Advertising Act (MAPAA)
The MAPAA prohibits any person for making any explicit or implicit material misrepresentation about any mortgage credit product in any commercial communication.

Privacy of Consumer Financial Information
This act restricts nonpublic personal information about individuals who obtain financial products or services primarily for personal, family, or household purposes from specified institutions.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
This act regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
RESPA ensures that consumers throughout the nation are provided with helpful information about the cost of the mortgage settlement and protected from unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by certain abusive practices.

Truth in Lending Act (TLA)
The TLA requires disclosures about the terms and cost of consumer credit in order to standardize the manner in which the costs of borrowing money are calculated and disclosed.

Truth in Savings Act (TSA)
The TSA requires a uniform disclosure of terms and conditions related to the interest and fees associated with a savings account.

 

Contact information for CFPB

Mailing address:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20220

   
Website:

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/
(online complaint form available)

   
Phone number: 855- 411-2372