Online Credit Card Complaint Database Debuts

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Credit Card problemsBy JENNIFER LIBERTO

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- A new online database devoted to cataloging consumer complaints against credit card companies launched Tuesday.

The website, created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will begin by posting grievances against credit card companies, and will eventually include complaints regarding mortgages and student loans.
The bureau has collected more than 45,000 complaints on all those products since last July.

"By making our data publicly available, initially in the area of credit cards, we hope to improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market," said Richard Cordray, director of the consumer bureau in a press briefing with reporters on Monday.

"We believe it's the first time for the public to see such individual complaint data on consumer credit cards," Cordray added.
The database will also disclose how the bank or card issuer handled the complaint, but it won't release information about the consumers who lodge them.

Banking trade groups have pushed back hard on the move to make the database public. In letters to the bureau, they expressed concerns about the agency's ability to ensure complaints are valid and accurate.

The industry wanted the consumer bureau to come up with a system that separates legitimate complaints from baseless ones -- and to disclose only legitimate complaints.

"Disclosing every complaint, without any indication of the veracity of the complaint, is inherently misleading," wrote Fred R. Becker Jr., president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

The bureau asks consumers to attest to the fact that complaints are true to the best of their knowledge. Additionally, no complaint will be disclosed until a company confirms that it has in fact done business with the consumer, according to bureau staff.

Banks and financial institutions have 15 days to respond to a complaint and 60 days to address the problem.

Other financial groups pushed to keep secret the identity of banks and card issuers that were being complained about.
"There is no public policy purpose served by the release of data by issuer. Disclosing the names of individual card issuers serves only as fodder for plaintiff attorneys," according to a letter submitted to the bureau on the database by the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Mortgage Coalition and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The bureau has collected more than 16,000 complaints about credit cards over the past year. But it's only posting grievances it's received since June 1, 2012, because that's when the agency adjusted the way it collects responses it gets from companies.

So far there are only about 100 complaints this month, but officials say they expect the database will grow quickly.

The bureau is collecting complaints via its website, telephone, mail, email, fax and from other agencies.

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July 17 2012 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Can I cancel Bernake's credit card?

June 20 2012 at 4:35 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
dollibug

And this new site is going to really make a DIFFERENCE??????????????????? There is so much CORRUPTION AND COVER UP EVERYWHERE......TOO MUCH in fact for anyone to make a difference....
It is sad when there are agencies who are set up to *HELP* people....actually do nothing at all....I had a workers compensation claim....and I was totally shocked at what happened...http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-647077 and to think that the NC INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION did not FOLLOW THEIR OWN RULES AND REGULATIONS...which are part of the NC LAW here for employees.....and NO ONE WOULD DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS....thanks to the 2 corrupt attorneys on this....they got by with what they did......

June 20 2012 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
arenadood

Like this would make any difference at al with complaints, Most people will complain about unfair late payment fees. Come on, Wake up, when you got the card the late payment fees and default interest fees where in the contract you agreed to.

June 20 2012 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
craigmrfrn

We need this for every single business. It would eliminate the need for unions. If a business treats it's workers like crap, you would avoid doing business with that business until it's score improves.

June 20 2012 at 10:49 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
pbihomes

I found a way to never have problems with credit card companies. What I do is if I charge something on a credit card, when I get home I go on line on my quicken and pay the amount I charged that day. Therefore I always have a zero balance and no problem. Also when my wife and I go on vacation I prepay the credit card so that i never have a negative balance. MORAL: don't spend what you don't have.

June 20 2012 at 8:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pbihomes's comment
mihicami

Though I don't pay off my cards the day I make the purchase, I do pay them off each month. I would think by paying them off the same day, you would not ever have any of your charges showing as a balance which would not appear to be anything toward having a credit rating for that card. My thought when I read this...always pay on time and there really shouldn't be any problems to report.

June 20 2012 at 9:53 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply