The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. The CFPB oversees all aspects of the financial industry, which offer services to consumers. The creation of the CFPB was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 and became a functioning entity in July of 2011. It was established to monitor all businesses that provide financial services to consumers to ensure consumers are receiving proper information alongside fair and legal business practices.
The CFPB website, http://www.consumerfinance.gov
, created a system allowing consumers to submit complaints, suspicions of fraudulent activity, or difficulties with a product to help regulators keep a close eye on things in the marketplace that are a cause for concern. The public’s reaction? The complaint resource has had hundreds of thousands of complaints filed for various reasons.
When the housing market crashed during 2007-2008, many consumers felt they had been duped. Homebuyers had been approved for mortgage loans that were funded for amounts much greater than they could actually afford given their personal financial situations. Before long, these same homeowners were unable to keep up with their mortgage payments and houses went underwater or foreclosed. Consumers were left out in the cold confused as to what had just happened. They had gone through the process, handed over documents, and obtained a mortgage they supposedly qualified for. So what went wrong? Lenders had become overeager,. handing out loans like candy on Halloween. Loans were granted to consumers who should not have qualified or for amounts that were far more than they could pay off. Naturally, consumers were left frustrated, weary, and without a home.
This catastrophic disaster made it evident that the market needed a system to prevent this from occurring again. The CFPB now regulates the practices of businesses and the market as a whole. They ensure the precautionary rules and laws are followed that have been implemented since the crash. It is not an easy or glamorous job and they rely heavily on help from the consumers.
In July of 2014, the CFPB had officially been functioning for three full years. According to venable.com, the CFPB has been busy during those three years on improving the market and economy. They had received more than 400,000 complaints, ordered more than $150 million to be paid in enforcement actions, and ordered more than $4.6 billion to be returned to consumers.