Published: November 2021

Advocates ask the CFPB to bring back public consumer complaint narratives

Dozens of consumer, civil rights, community, housing and privacy groups urged the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Rohit Chopra, to stop burying the complaint details (called narratives) in the agency’s consumer complaint database. Under its Trump-appointed director, Kathy Kraninger, the CFPB made it more difficult for consumers to access the most useful portion of the complaints. Burying the complaint narratives was one of many big gifts Kraninger gave to financial firms that long fought public display of the consumer-provided descriptions that reveal the unfair practices companies would rather keep hidden.

Under its Trump-appointed director, Kathy Kraninger, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made it tougher to access the most useful portion of the consumer complaint database: the complaint details (called the “narratives”). These details (written by consumers) provide invaluable specifics as to why the consumer complained and can help database users decide whether to do business with a particular company based on the reported problems.

In a letter to the new CFPB director, Rohit Chopra, advocates called on the Bureau to reverse the move and to make the complaint narratives easy to find. 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.

Lead Organization

Consumer Action

Other Organizations

Advocacy for Principled Action in Government Alaska PIRG | American Council on Consumer Interests American Federation of Teachers | Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education Better Markets | California Reinvestment Coalition Center for American Progress | Center for Digital Democracy | Center for Economic Integrity | Center for Economic Justice | Center for Justice & Democracy | Columbia Consumer Education Council | Connecticut Fair Housing Center | Constitutional Alliance | Consumer Action | Consumer Advocates Against Reverse Mortgage Abuse | Consumer Assistance Council | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Federation of California | Consumer Reports | Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety } Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council | Electronic Information Privacy Center | Empire Justice Center |Faith in Action National Network | Georgia Watch | Kentucky Equal Justice Center | Massachusetts Communities Action Network Montana Organizing Project | Mountain State Justice | NAACP | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys | National CAPACD | 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 | Public Good Law Center | SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center | Student Borrower Protection Center | Student Debt Crisis Center | The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) | The One Less Foundation | The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy | Tzedek DC | UnidosUS | U.S.PIRG | Virginia Citizens Consumer Council | Virginia Organizing | Woodstock Institute

More Information

For more information on the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, please read Consumer Action’s INSIDER.


Download PDF

Advocates ask the CFPB to bring back public consumer complaint narratives   (CFPB_Complaint_DB_Hidden_Narratives_11-18-21.pdf)




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