CFPB buries complaint details in its complaint database

Dozens of consumer, civil rights, community, housing and privacy groups urged the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to stop burying complaint details (called narratives) in its consumer complaint database.

In a letter to CFPB Director Kraninger, advocates called on the Bureau to reinstate the “Read consumer narratives” box to help users easily locate the critical details of consumers’ unresolved complaints.

“Access to the complaint narratives helps to educate and empower consumers to make wise financial decisions and meets the Bureau’s mandate to inform and protect consumers. The complaint details description of “what happened” can help to prevent future problems by warning individuals in advance of others’ unresolved disputes with companies that the Bureau is responsible for overseeing. Public access to this critical information also helps to hold companies accountable for their behavior in the financial marketplace.”

Last September, the Bureau made the wise decision to maintain public access to the CFPB’s consumer complaint database, including complaint details, and announced its decision at Consumer Action’s National Consumer Empowerment conference.

The following groups signed on to the Hidden Narratives letter:

Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
Alaska PIRG
American Federation of Teachers
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund
Better Markets
California Reinvestment Coalition
Center for  Digital Democracy
Center for Economic Integrity
Constitutional Alliance
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of America
Electronic Information Privacy Center
Empire Justice Center
Montana Organizing Project
Mountain State Justice
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients)
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Housing Law Project
National Housing Resource Center
National Urban League
National Workrights Institute
Northwest Side Housing Center
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Public Citizen
SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Student Borrower Protection Center
Student Debt Crisis
The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS)
Virginia Organizing
Woodstock Institute




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