CFPB Is it still Working?

You remember when Obama established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, right? It was meant to safeguard the interests of consumers, at least as far as credit and loans went. So the group has been together for a little over a year and they just released a report to tell us how they’ve been protecting us.

Before we get to the report, let’s just see how big this organization has grown:

– 889 staffers

– 55,300 complaints from consumers about financial products

– 44% resolution rate

– 2 lawsuits

Yep, lawsuits. The CFPB has been sued because individuals are concerned that it wields too much power. Personally, if we felt someone was protecting me we’d probably want them to have too much power. So we guess the real gist of the lawsuits are that they don’t actually protect us. But we don’t think we should be getting into that right now.

Another problem is that despite Obama’s “transparency in government” kick, the organization has been accused of actually reducing transparency, since basically no one is looking over their shoulders. So this report is meant to address some of those concerns. Here’s what they say they’ve done:

– fielded complaints about mortgages, student loans, credit scores, and credit terms

– tried to get consumers and creditors to communicate (44% resolved, 17% disputed)

– drafted rules to reform the mortgage finance system

Now it’s that last point that really has me concerned. Yeah, the system needs to be reformed, but are these guys the best ones to do it? Are they actually reading the complaints they get and using them to close gaps? Do they understand how devious the banks can be with other people’s money?

Unless they really no what they’re doing this is just going to be another hopeless exercise. Do you think they have any chance of fixing anything? If so, tell us why?