Last week, the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office released its eighth annual report covering the Office’s activities during fiscal year 2019.  The Ombudsman’s Office is intended to serve as an independent, impartial, and confidential resource that assists consumers, financial entities, consumer or trade groups, and others in informally resolving process issues with the CFPB.

In the annual report, the Office provides examples of its work in FY 2019 and discusses the types of internal and external engagement in which it has participated during that period.

In addition to reviewing individual inquiries, the Ombudsman’s Office reviews systemic issues that may be affecting consumers or financial entities nationwide, in a particular region, or with a certain process.  In FY 2019, the Office reviewed two systemic issues.  One review focused on the Bureau’s process for handling consumer complaints referred to the CFPB by other agencies, and resulted in recommendations of steps for the CFPB to take to make that process clearer for consumers.  The second review focused on the information provided to consumers on defendant-administered redress, and resulted in recommendations of steps for the CFPB to take to provide additional information to consumers on enforcement actions and defendant-administered redress.

The report also includes updates on the following previous systemic reviews:

  • How non-consumers contact the CFPB by phone
  • Entities mentioned in CFPB materials for a positive purpose
  • Third party receipt of consumer complaint responses
  • Legal disclaimers used in CFPB webinars