In a new blog post, the CFPB promotes its “Ask CFPB” website feature as “a source of clear, impartial answers to hundreds of financial questions.”
We agree that the feature can be a source of potentially helpful information for consumers on a wide range of topics such as bank accounts, credit reports and scores, debt collection, student loans, and mortgages. However, we find it disappointing that the feature provides no questions and answers about dispute resolution, a topic about which “Ask CFPB” could also be a useful source of information for consumers.
Issues that could be addressed include what it means for a consumer to resolve his or her individual dispute in court (including small claims court) or through arbitration and what it means to be part of a class action in court. As Alan Kaplinsky noted in his testimony at the CFPB’s May 5 field hearing on arbitration, the CFPB has not allocated any of its vast resources to educating consumers on the benefits of arbitration.