I want to let you know about a new tool to help hold bad lenders accountable. On December 1, 2011 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched the home-mortgage complaint and dispute-resolution hotline. This is an important tool that will act as a go-between for borrowers and lenders. If a consumer has a legitimate complaint about their mortgage, they are now able to contact the hotline for help in resolving an issue with their lender.
The complaint hotline is accessible online at the CFPB's website (www.consumerfinance.gov), by toll-free phone between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern (855-411-CFPB) as well as by regular mail and fax.
In related news, on Wednesday President Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head up the CFPB, which makes him the top consumer protection agent in the U.S. In a speech on Thursday Mr. Cordray said, "the consumer bureau will make clear that there are real consequences to breaking the law."
It's about time the CFPB realized its full power to look out for your interests in banking, financial products, home loans and all other forms of consumer credit, as outlined by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation that I supported last year. Consumer protection needs real teeth to fight for your interests.
One of the top priorities for the CFPB is investigating predatory mortgage lending and foreclosure practices. I have been pushing state attorneys general and the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for months to hold big banks accountable for their actions and not let them off the hook for illegal and unfair foreclosures. It's not fair for hard-working, middle class American families to lose their homes while the financial institutions that got us into this mess get off with a mild slap on the wrist.
I will continue to fight to hold big banks accountable and make sure Americans are getting a fair deal on consumer matters.