Viewing complaints on the CFPB website: should a company register?

by Ballard Spahr LLP
Contact

Should our company sign up to use an online company portal to view consumer complaints about us submitted to the CFPB? That’s the question we are being asked by clients who have been contacted by a CFPB representative requesting that they register to view complaints. Once registered, the CFPB makes available a company portal to which it will forward the complaints and which the company can log into to review the complaints and respond to the CFPB as to how they were handled.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, only large banks are required to respond to the CFPB about how they have handled consumer complaints. However, by registering with the CFPB to access complaints, a company assumes an obligation to follow the CFPB’s procedures set forth in the “Company portal manual.” Those procedures include the CFPB’s requirement that all company portal users provide the CFPB with a response to each complaint within 15 days of when the company received the complaint in the portal. A response must include the steps taken to resolve the complaint with the consumer. Within the 15 days, a company can request up to an additional 45 days to provide a response. However, complaints for which a company has not responded within 30 days of receipt (or 60 days if additional time was requested) will be tagged for CFPB review and investigation. The manual states that regular reports are provided to the CFPB Offices of Supervision and Enforcement about complaints for which companies have failed to provide “a timely response.”

The CFPB has made clear that it will use complaints  in deciding which nonbank companies to examine (meaning payday lenders, mortgage originators, private student lenders or other nonbanks as to which the CFPB has supervisory authority). By not registering to access complaints, a company is missing the opportunity to demonstrate that it is responsive to complaints and, as such, not in need of examination. Reviewing complaints will also give a company insight into the issues on which the CFPB may focus if the company is examined and an opportunity to be better positioned for the examination.

The CFPB also uses complaints to decide which companies will be targets for enforcement actions. By demonstrating that it is responsive to complaints, a company may be able to forestall enforcement action or mitigate any penalties if an enforcement action is begun. Finally, the CFPB plans to use complaints in deciding which companies will be targets for supervision using the CFPB’s risk-based supervisory authority. Being responsive to complaints could help a company that is not already subject to CFPB supervision (such as an auto title lender) avoid becoming a supervision target.

What’s the bottom line? A company that registers will need to devote the resources necessary for reviewing the complaints and providing timely responses to the CFPB. However, we think those costs are easily outweighed by the potential benefits. On balance, we think registration is a good idea.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ballard Spahr LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ballard Spahr LLP
Contact
more
less

Ballard Spahr LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.