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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on February 18, 2011

"When you buy a toaster, if it explodes in your face there's a law that says your toasters need to be safe. But when you get a credit card, or you get a mortgage, there's no law on the books that says if that explodes in your face financially, somehow you're going to be protected."  -President Barack Obama, March 19, 2009 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

In 2009, President Obama proposed the creation of a Federal agency to protect the interests of American consumers as part of an overall plan to reform the financial industry.  On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law. This Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The mission of the CFPB is to "make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans—whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products." Among other things, the Bureau plans to:

  • Conduct rule-making, supervision, and enforcement for Federal consumer financial protection laws;
  • Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices;
  • Create a center to take consumer complaints;
  • Promote financial education;
  • Research consumer behavior;
  • Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers; and
  • Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance.

One of the ways the Bureau plans to accomplish these task is by consolidating the consumer protection functions of several other agencies under one roof.  This transfer of responsibility is scheduled to take place on July 21, 2001, the one year anniversary of the Act's passing.  Agencies that will be transferring responsibilities and employees to the CFPB include: the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

The CFPB is an autonomous entity within the Federal Reserve System and will eventually be led by a director; however, the President’s nomination has not yet be sent to the Senate for confirmation. Harvard law Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is credited with being the first to suggest the need for such an agency to exist, is currently overseeing the Bureau as a special adviser.

For more information about the CFPB, visit their just-launched website

Consumers should also be aware that there are state and county consumer protection offices. For a list of consumer protection offices, please visit the Federal Citizen Information Center's website at


Anonymous says:
May 27, 2016

The CFPB is a complete waste of time in my experience. I have sent more than a dozen different requests for the CFPB to look into deceptive, abusive, and fraudulent issues with credit cards and collections agencies in the last 18 months. Each and every one resulted in an e-mail stating "We usually can quickly send complaints to the company for a response. Sometimes it takes longer to correctly identify and register the company. We’re still working to register the company you identified. If we need more information to continue our work, or if we are unable to send your complaint to the company, we will let you know. If you want more help you can contact a private attorney or your local legal aid office for free or low-cost legal resources at " And every time, that was the end of it. What people don't understand is that the CFPB has no power. They can't MAKE or FORCE any company to work with them (or you!) to effect a resolution to your complaint, and they can't report issues to law enforcement, even if a million people report the same issue with the same company. If the company does not respond--or if the company is not in their database--the issue goes no further. Companies seem to have learned this pretty quickly, as even large well-known banks are ignoring the requests I've submitted. Until this agency is given some actual legislative power, it's a waste of funding. Try your luck if you're feeling adventurous, but don't count on a solution stemming from their "investigations."

CreditCardAssist says:
August 11, 2011

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is really stepping to to protect users. I wish the large banks would be more responsible with their lending!

David Boyer says:
February 26, 2011

Big need for someone to oversee these issues, as my wife and I took out a Mortgage and as everyone knows you have the (3 day law) to cancel the mortgage is what we are all told! We canceled ours on the 2nd day and what happened was the loan was put through. Who was there to protect us? Got an attorney? What he did was talk with Optima Fundings Attorneys making deals for settlement with us, and then nothing they disappeared? Then went to the Napa District Attorney? Whom said wow Fraud but out of my jurisdiction and sent us to the Department of Real Estate? What Happened? We were stuck in an adjustable loan that went up to 16% before I could get out of it and get into a 6.25% fixed which was .25% higher than what we had before we got the loan? So more costs, they attached 100K to our loan and sold the loan. Wells Fargo owns it now and we are still trying to get out of it.

MyATM Holdings says:
February 19, 2011

This is such a great website and many will benefit from this article. Thanks for sharing your site. Cheers!

Technical Analysis Tool says:
February 22, 2011

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will help consumers make better decisions when dealing with financial product choices. It is destined to be one of the biggest regulatory bodies, leaving the government involved in the financial industry for a long time.

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