The federal government has created a new online database designed to record consumer complaints against credit card companies. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created the website for the purpose of cataloging and responding to reports of harassment and deceptive practices that companies use to intensify consumer credit card debt. These practices have been considered a factor in causing the recent economic downturn in Texas and throughout the U.S.
So far, more than 45,000 complaints of credit card companies have been gathered from the website, which will soon include complaints against mortgage lenders and student loan companies. The goal of the new database is to improve transparency and efficiency for consumers who use credit cards. The new website will display information regarding how the bank or card issuer responded to a customer complaint, but will withhold information about the consumer filing the complaint.
The financial industry and banking groups have objected to the database. Some have doubts that the bureau will be able to ensure the accuracy of the complaints. The industry requested the agency to create a process for identifying legitimate and baseless complaints. They also requested that only legitimate complaints be disclosed on the database.
Currently the website's policy is to require consumers in Texas and elsewhere to attest to the fact that complaints are true to the best of their knowledge. Before posting a complaint, it is also confirmed that the credit card issuer has in fact done business with the consumer. Credit card issuers have 15 days to respond to a complaint and 60 days to address the problem. It is the hope of the government that the database will prevent further abuses while helping to tackle the nation's credit card debt problems.
Source: CNN Money