Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a US government agency created in 2011 to protect consumers in the financial marketplace. Its mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.

The CFPB has the authority to enforce federal consumer financial protection laws, supervise and examine financial institutions for compliance, and write and enforce rules and regulations to promote transparency, fairness and competition in the financial marketplace. The Bureau is responsible for protecting consumers from deceptive, unfair, or abusive practices, and provides information and resources to help consumers make informed financial decisions.

The CFPB governs financial institutions that offer or provide consumer financial products or services, such as banks, credit unions, payday lenders, mortgage companies, and debt collectors. Its goal is to ensure that these institutions are held accountable for their actions, and that consumers have access to fair, transparent, and competitive financial products and services.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has several responsibilities and powers to protect consumers in the financial marketplace:

  1. Enforcing consumer protection laws: The CFPB has the authority to enforce federal consumer financial protection laws, such as the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Consumer Leasing Act, among others. If a financial institution violates these laws, the CFPB can take enforcement action, including imposing fines or requiring the institution to change its practices.
  2. Supervising financial institutions: The CFPB supervises financial institutions to ensure that they comply with consumer financial protection laws. This includes conducting regular examinations of banks, non-bank lenders, and other financial institutions to ensure that they are providing fair and transparent products and services.
  3. Writing and enforcing rules: The CFPB has the authority to write and enforce rules to promote transparency, fairness, and competition in the financial marketplace. For example, the CFPB has written rules regarding mortgage disclosures, payday lending, and debt collection practices, among others.
  4. Receiving and responding to consumer complaints: The CFPB operates a consumer complaint database that allows consumers to submit complaints about financial products and services. The CFPB investigates complaints and works to resolve them in the best interest of the consumer.
  5. Educating consumers: The CFPB provides information and resources to help consumers make informed financial decisions. This includes providing educational materials on a variety of topics, such as credit reports, mortgages, and student loans.

In summary, the CFPB’s mission is to ensure that the financial marketplace is fair and transparent, and that consumers have access to fair, transparent, and competitive financial products and services. The CFPB governs financial institutions that offer or provide consumer financial products or services, and uses its powers and responsibilities to protect consumers from deceptive, unfair, or abusive practices.

This page was last updated on June 10, 2024.

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