The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is testing the waters on a complaint hotline via a system put into place in Newark, New Jersey. By calling a four-digit number, similar to public service and emergency telephone lines, consumers can report financial product and services abuse directly by phone. The hotline also serves as a means for consumers to ask questions they may have about everything from credit cards to reverse mortgages.
“The CFPB’s job is to help consumers navigate the often confusing financial marketplace and to hold financial institutions accountable,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Through this coordination, we will be able to reach and to help consumers who may not have found us otherwise.”
Consumers in Newark can call 4311 for a connection with the Bureau. Currently, the number provides residents with local city services and will now present an option for callers to be transferred to the CFPB.
The bureau has been collecting complaints since July 2011. It compiles the complaints and reports them back to the companies where the complaints originated tracking whether the complaint has been addressed and/or resolved. Complaint topics include products and services ranging from mortgages to bank products, student loans and credit reporting.
To date, the CFPB has received more than 130,000 complaints, according to the bureau.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker