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Updating the CFPB
Old 07-24-2012, 06:49 AM   #1
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Updating the CFPB

A local news reporter covering the new Student Loan information program led me to the new Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau website. While I expected the simple government pablum (and there's much of that) I was pleasantly surprised to see the broad approach to Consumer Fraud... and have bookmarked the site, to go back and take it one piece at a time. Good advice, wide ranging coverage for all ages, all scams, and some facts that surprised me.

The lead in to the section covering seniors and retirement begins with this:

Quote:
YOU…
…are 62 or over
…can expect to live 21 more years if you are a woman, 17 if you are a man
…like three out of five American families with a head of household 65 or older, may have no retirement savings
…may not know what your benefits are when your spouse dies
…need to ask the right questions
Wow! Three in five, with NO savings. That alone answers a lot of questions about poverty in the U.S.

A good place to start, is in the "Get Assistance" heading.

One small note in the "pension counseling" was interesting. It covers the cost/ benefit relationship.

Quote:
The projects have helped thousands of
individuals, recovering over $130 million in
benefits that otherwise would have gone
unclaimed. These recoveries represent a return
on federal investment of nearly 7 to 1 proving
that pension counseling is not only necessary,
but that it can be provided efficiently and
effectively.
A suggestion, if you go to the website... Not all of the links are marked or underlined. If a list is shown, you can usually click on an item, to go to another site. The site ties in with meaningful information from other government departments.

CFPB > Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

It's a war zone out there... To make it through, ya gotta know who you're fighting. The CFPB is a good place to start.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
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Thanks. I added it to my RSS feed for a while to see if it is worth following.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:47 AM   #3
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I'm bumping this thread, because I think it got lost in the frenzy.

First... The CFPB (Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau) has only been up and running for a short time, so its likely that not too many people are aware of what has happened since the inception. A recent news article overview:

Time for the CFPB's One-Year Report Card - TheStreet

It looks like the website has only been "up" for about a month.

FWIW: After spending a little time on the website, I'd give it high marks for opening the information door to protections available to combat fraud , as well as opening a door for the average citizen to seek redress.

There are data bases for example, which only reflect complaints taken since mid June, that indicate many hundreds of new credit card complaints, Credit reporting agency errors etc. Shown individually, by case number.

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaintdatabase/

As I mentioned in the opening post, the many links to detailed info are not always clear, so if you find something interesting, do some clicking.

CFPB > Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If you don't have time to go through the site, take a quick look at the main headings on the home page.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:11 AM   #4
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To add an example of the kind of info on the site, here's a paragraph from the
CFPB blog:

Quote:
This week, we’ll be featuring stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.

Ronald, a 77-year-old Army veteran and retired businessman from Georgia believed he had paid off his mortgage but found his mortgage servicer said he still owed money.

Ronald, who bought his home in 1979 for $38,000, was blind and had trouble finding the paperwork to prove he owned his home free and clear. So he continued to hand over $100 each month to the lender. After the CFPB got involved at the end of 2011, the bank determined that Ronald had in fact paid off his mortgage in 2007 before the current servicer took over the loan. The bank refunded Ronald’s money at 3 percent interest and sent him a check for $30,000.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I'm bumping this thread, because I think it got lost in the frenzy.
The thread has had lots of views - more than 200.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I'm bumping this thread, because I think it got lost in the frenzy.
It sounds like a good idea, and I did poke around the site a bit when you first posted - it didn't get lost on me. But I really wasn't drawn into it. I dunno, it seemed like a rather random collection of things. Didn't really do much for me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the combination of the way it is organized (or not), and the content just didn't grab me.

The story of the blind guy is pretty similar to the ones posted in most newspapers or TV shows by their 'consumer protection' reporter. I'm glad they helped him, but how does this relate to the general public?

Maybe I'm looking for something more high level - like demanding more transparency in cell phone and cable contracts, etc. I was recently on the T-Mobile support forum, there sure are a lot of complaints about confusion over different plans, and people unknowingly getting stuck into another contract cycle. And I hate all these ads about 'guaranteed low rate for 6 months!!!!' - which to me says 'we guarantee we will raise your rate above the advertised rate in 6 months'. They should be required to show the long term rate as well as the short term. etc, etc....

IMO, if they broke the monopoly powers these places have, there wouldn't be so much abuse in the first place, they couldn't get away with it. I've never been confused about buying potatoes at a grocery store.


edit/add: or maybe they could do an expose' on another Govt agency - the FCC, regarding their Do Not Call list, which is a huge source of consumer complaints, yet the FCC takes almost no action against the violators.

-ERD50
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Wow! Three in five, with NO savings. That alone answers a lot of questions about poverty in the U.S.
Some of these people have fairly generous pensions which, when combined with Social Security, more than meet their income needs. Someone in this situation doesn't need a million dollar retirement portfolio like the rest of us.
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