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CFPB: Send prepaid card complaints

By Allison Ross · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

© Alliance/Shutterstock.comThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear consumers' complaints about prepaid cards and other nonbank products like debt settlement services, credit repair services, and pawn and title loans.

The move will give consumers "a greater voice in these market and a place to turn to when they encounter problems," CFPB Director Richard Cordray says in a statement.

The CFPB is already at odds with many financial companies over how it wants to handle consumer complaints. Last week, the CFPB proposed publishing more information on consumer complaints, giving customers the ability to publicly publish narratives of their experiences with a financial company.

But industry folks expressed concerns about the CFPB's proposal, saying publishing unverified complaints was unfair and could harm industry reputations.

Similarly, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions released a statement today with concerns about the CFPB's latest plan to take complaints on prepaid cards and other products.

"Before the CFPB chooses to expand the content of subjects included in the database or pursue its narratives proposal issued last week, it should look to ensure that proper safety controls are in place to protect credit unions and other financial institutions from unsubstantiated claims," Mike Coleman, NAFCU director of regulatory affairs, says in a statement.

Coleman says that credit unions already take great care to address members' complaints directly.

Eyeing prepaid cards

The CFPB has been eyeing prepaid cards for a while now and says it will release proposed regulatory rules in the coming months.

In today's release, the CFPB says it wants to hear complaints consumers have about:

  • Problems managing, opening or closing their account.
  • Overdraft issues, and incorrect or unexpected fees.
  • Frauds, scams or unauthorized transactions.
  • Advertising, disclosures and marketing practices.
  • Adding money and savings or rewards features.

In addition, it says it also will take complaints from consumers about pawnshops, title loans and debt settlement, and credit repair agencies.

To contact the CFPB, go to its complaint website, call 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or mail a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa, 52244.

Have you ever had a problem with a prepaid card? How was it resolved?

The prepaid card industry has been undergoing a transformation, and a prepaid card may be a good choice for consumers. Utilize Bankrate's research to find the best prepaid card for you.

Follow me on twitter: @allisonsross.

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