CFPB wants to hear about consumer mistakes

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[author: Barbara S. Mishkin]

In a new blog post, the CFPB is asking consumers to tell it about “common money mistakes.” The CFPB wants to know about mistakes a consumer has made, mistakes a consumer has seen others make, ”habits and practices that make good choices more difficult,” and what the consumer wishes he or she “had known sooner or would do differently next time.”  

The CFPB says it’s looking for “better ways to help others avoid these mistakes in the future.” We assume that the CFPB’s request for information about mistakes stems from the CFPB’s “behavioral economics” approach to rulemaking, which is based on the premise that, by understanding how consumers behave, regulators can devise rules to protect consumers from their own mistakes. Given that the CFPB’s request is likely to elicit lots of anecdotal information, we hope the CFPB will proceed cautiously in using the information it receives as a basis for rulemaking.