One of the biggest industries in the world is the financial services industry. It encompasses everything from banking, to loans, to credit cards, to mortgages. If it has to do with money, it is big business. Since the industry is so huge, there is a lot of money to be made by exploiting certain niches. And that money will come a little easier if you are willing to trick people, or even scam them, out of their money. Until a few years ago companies that did business in the financial services world had a fairly care-free reign. However, with the passing of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to stop that.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was drafted in 2009 and went into effect in the middle of 2010. This controversial act, that has the GOP clawing at it to get it overturned, changed the way the money industry was managed. One of the biggest changes for the every-day consumer was the founding of the CFPB.
The CFPB is the consumer’s advocate for all things financial. Since July 2011 they have been the watchdog that makes sure banks, lenders, and others who deal in financial services are playing fairly. They seek to inform the consumer, and to help them out when they have been cheated.
The bureau has a huge infrastructure set up to take complaints. Anyone who is having trouble with a financial services company can head over to the complaint page of the website, and the matter will be looked into. Chances are if one person is having trouble with a company, many other people are having the same problems. But just policing the banks and lenders will only create entitled consumers. Instead, the CFPB is creating educational programs so that the consumer will know what to look for, how to avoid the less-than-reputable companies, and be able to watch out for themselves.
The bureau is designed to help all consumers; however, they do take special care to help those who are at a higher risk. They have special services set up for Older Americans, Servicemembers and Veterans, and students. If you fall into any of these categories, it may be in your best interest to take a look around their website to see just how you can benefit from it.
Have you heard of the CFPB? Have you used any of their services? Chances are that you have heard of them in passing in the news lately, they have been very active since 2011 (if you want to see some of what they have done, you can read the blog section of their site, or check out a recent article on Repaid.org). The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is constantly adding to their monitoring duties, recently adding payday lenders as part of the group that they watch over. They are your advocate, and if you ever need assistance dealing with a stubborn or manipulative financial services company, turn to them for help.
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