Consumer protections may wither as CFPB head Richard Cordray departs, observers say

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Consumer protections may wither as CFPB head Richard Cordray departs, observers say


The agency has given jilted consumers a place to file their grievances, establishing a consumer complaint database.

“The mission is popular and it’s given a real place for consumers to share complaints,” said Gilbert of Public Citizen. There are over 700,000 listed on the site.

Consumers have received $11.8 billion in relief from CFPB supervisory and enforcement actions.

Notable wins for the CFPB include its $100 million fine against Wells Fargo Bank last year for its practice of opening unauthorized deposit accounts and credit cards. Employees at the bank received incentives for opening the phony accounts in order to hit sales targets.

The agency also targeted payday lenders and other purveyors of high interest loans. Some of these short-term credit products had annual percentage rates exceeding 300 percent.

Last month, the CFPB finalized a rule that requires lenders to determine whether customers can afford to repay these payday loans without borrowing even more.

On the student loan front, the CFPB sued Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, in January for complicating the repayment process for borrowers.

In its suit, the agency claimed that Navient failed to correctly apply borrowers’ payments to their accounts and failed to inform borrowers of deadlines related to income-driven repayment plans.

Navient did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

Finally, the CFPB kicked off a mortgage initiative to help borrowers understand their rights and obligations when buying a home.

This rule, known as “Know Before You Owe,” requires lenders to provide simplified details on mortgages to homebuyers to help them shop for a loan that’s right for them.

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