July 27, 2015

CFPB Begins Publishing Consumer Complaint Narratives

2 min

On June 25, 2015, the CFPB published its enhanced consumer complaint database, which includes over 7,700 consumer narratives. These narratives consist of consumer accounts of the problems that the consumers have faced with financial companies concerning mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards, and debt collection, among others. The Bureau's enhanced complaint database is the result of a policy statement finalized in March 2015 that enables consumers to voluntarily include narrative descriptions when they submit complaints to the Bureau.

The CFPB states that the consumer narratives "provide context to complaints, are easily searchable, and help spotlight specific trends." The narratives are accessible to the public, and can be searched by company, product, and feature brand name, as well as specific practices.

Complaints Process: The CFPB publishes complaints in the database after the earlier of the company's response to the complaint or 15 days after the company receives the complaint. The CFPB will disclose the consumer narrative when the company provides a response to the narrative, or after the company has had the complaint for 60 calendar days, whichever comes first.

Request for Information: The CFPB concurrently published a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the updated consumer complaint database. The Bureau requests comments on how it can better normalize data in the complaint database (adding metrics to give greater context to the data). Comments are due 60 days after the RFI is published in the Federal Register.