Advocates Fight to Keep Public Database Public

Woodstock Statement on Consumer Bureau Request for Information Regarding Bureau of Public Reporting Practices of Consumer Complaint Information



Public comments were due yesterday in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Request for Information (RFI) on its publically available complaint database. Created after the Great Recession, the Consumer Bureau’s complaint database empowers consumers to publicly report a problem or review in an effort to hold financial services and credit reporting businesses accountable to consumer needs. Under the new direction of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, the Consumer Bureau may ban public access to the complaint database, an action which worries consumer, civil rights, and fair lending advocates.

“Small, not-for-profit consumer groups cannot possibly compete with the industry in responding to the multitude of Requests for Information (RFIs) issued by the Consumer Bureau since the beginning of this year.  The whole process will likely be used to justify revamping the agency and its processes to make it more industry-friendly. We fear that industry responses to the complaint database and other RFIs will be used to justify hiding the information from consumers,” said Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of Policy and Communication for Woodstock Institute.

Read the letter in response to the Consumer Bureau’s RFI signed by Woodstock Institute, Citizen Action/ Illinois, Community Organizing and Family Issues, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Illinois Asset Building Group, National Community Investment Fund, Project Irene, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and Spanish Coalition for Housing.