The CFPB has published a notice in today’s Federal Register stating that the CFPB is developing a form to allow companies to “proactively participate” in its online company portal for viewing and responding to consumer complaints.

According to the notice, the CFPB’s proposed form, the “Company Portal Boarding Form,” will “serve to streamline information collection” from companies seeking to register to use the company portal and “result in a greatly enhanced and efficient experience from both the consumers and companies’ perspectives.”  Comments are due by February 2, 2015.

Clients continue to ask us whether they should register to use the CFPB’s company portal.  In response to that question, we have reminded clients that complaints are used by the CFPB to decide which nonbank companies to examine (meaning payday lenders, mortgage originators, private student lenders or other nonbanks as to which the CFPB has supervisory authority).  In our view, by not registering to access complaints, a company is missing the opportunity to demonstrate that it is responsive to complaints and, as such, not in need of examination.  Reviewing complaints will also give a company insight into the issues on which the CFPB may focus if the company is examined and an opportunity to be better positioned for the examination.

The CFPB also uses complaints to decide which companies will be targets for enforcement actions. By demonstrating that it is responsive to complaints, a company may be able to forestall enforcement action or mitigate any penalties if an enforcement action is begun.