The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has helped consumers reclaim billions of dollars lost through unfair financial practices. As of the end of 2016, the CFPB had returned more than $11.8 billion to 29 million customers.
Some recent 2017 examples of the CFPB’s work protecting consumers include:
- The CFPB ordered the credit reporting companies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian to pay $26 million in restitution and penalties for misrepresenting how their credit scores are used. The credit reporting companies had told consumers that the credit scores they saw were the same as what were sold to lenders, though that wasn’t true, impeding consumers’ ability to understand lenders’ decisions. The credit bureaus engaged in other misleading practices, too.
- Mortgage lenders and servicers and real estate agents were ordered to pay nearly $4 million in fines for illegally steering home buyers to particular mortgage lenders on the basis of kickbacks and fees between the companies and agents.
- The CFPB required CitiMortgage and CitiFinancial Services to pay an estimated $29 million in penalties and refunds to consumers who were struggling to keep their homes. The companies failed to tell consumers about all programs to help them keep their homes, and also engaged in deceptive practices by sending consumers “a letter demanding dozens of documents and forms that had no bearing on the application or that the consumer had already provided.”
Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group
Elizabeth Ridlington is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. She focuses primarily on global warming, toxics, health care and clean vehicles, and has written dozens of reports on these and other subjects. Elizabeth graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in government. She joined Frontier Group in 2002. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.