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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB ombudsman releases mid-year update

Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Finance Consumer Complaints

Federal Issues

The CFPB Ombudsman’s Office issued its midyear update for 2022, which “provides an independent, impartial, and confidential resource to informally assist individuals, companies, consumer and trade groups, and others in resolving issues with the CFPB.” The Ombudsman received 1,108 individual inquiries—the most it has received in a six-month period for the past ten years. The Ombudsman noted that the CFPB had processed certain incoming consumer correspondence as inquiries rather than as consumer complaints, and as a result, they were not forwarded for company response. Based on the feedback, the Bureau added FAQs to the “Submit a complaint” webpage. In addition, later this year the Ombudsman plans to provide a summary of the feedback and recommendations from its post-examination survey of supervised entities, along with a further summary of the findings in its annual report. The update also discussed suggestions on draft CFPB materials, noting that “some of our feedback centered around clarity for the public as well as consideration of the public’s expectations in engaging with the CFPB.” Finally, the update noted that the Ombudsman’s Office intends to host a virtual Ombudsman Forum with organizations assisting consumers in the Midwest region. Feedback will be summarized in its annual report.