If your credit card issuer is mistreating you, or if you're having trouble with your mortgage lender, you've got a new place to turn for help.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) accepts consumer complaints about credit cards, consumer loans, student loans, mortgages and more.

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A new way to deal with errant banks

When you file a complaint with CFPB, they do two things. First, they catalog and code it and use a database management system to figure out if there's a pattern of problems that call for further investigation.

Second, they send the complaint on to the bank or lender or whoever you're questioning. The bank is allowed to contact the consumer and try to solve the problem. If they think they've solved it, the bank will tell the CFPB, acknowledging that it's been taking care of.

In my book, this is a very useful process. The opportunity to fix problems and have the feds look for patterns is great. I'm not certain why some political types seem to have it out for the CFPB. After all, we taxpayers spent $7.4 trillion to save the banks. Wouldn't it be nice if they followed the laws of the land?

That's the goal of the CFPB, to bring them to accountability.

Here's another thing the banks aren't happy about: The CFPB is now posting a "Wall of Shame" of consumer complaints so you can get a sense for the narrative of how the banks and other financial institutions are allegedly doing people wrong.

Check it out before you file your complaint!

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For more info to protect your wallet, see our Protect Your Rights & Identity section.


Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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