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Bottom Line: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 12:55 PM EDT
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency established two years
ago under the Wall Street Reform Act, was created with the goal of protecting you, the consumer.
There's been lot of talk surrounding the agency, a lot of controversy, and a lot of money spent on setting it up.  CBS 6's Dori Marlin digs deeper though, to get The Bottom Line on whether the agency is getting the job done.
Rodney Kuensley
shared his story with Dori, in the living room of his Clifton Park
apartment.  The two sat there, because his house
that he'd owned for 17 years in Tioga County - now sits
empty.
Unable to make his payments, he listed it as a short sale
three years ago.  But he's had no luck selling - not because of a lack of
offers, he says - but because of trouble, with the bank.
"Bank of America
was not responding, they were losing my paperwork, they were making excuses," he said.
Rodney contacted Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office, and his
case wound up in the hands of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  And
from there, this is what happened:
"The letter they sent me said I didn't
have to do anything, that they would monitor the situation and if there was
another issue to let them know," he said.  "I contacted the CFPB again, and they
said, 'Well, we closed the case.  Because you didn't rebutt their answer, we
consider the matter closed.'"
But the letter Rodney showed Dori from the
CFPB clearly states, he was "not" required to take any action.
"I talked
to them," said Rodney, "And they said, 'Well, we're a new agency and we're not
totally set up yet.'"
Here are the facts:
The agency's going on
2-and-a-half years old, and numbers Dori obtained for the fiscal year 2011 show
it had $161-million of our dollars in its coffers.
In its second full
year, the Bureau says it received more than 45,000 consumer
complaints.  Of those, more than 37,000 were sent to companies and
banks.  And to the Bureau's credit, companies and banks responded to about
33,000.  But the numbers have done little, to quiet the
critics.
Controversy surrounded its leader's appointment.  Some
say the agency is limiting access to credit, and hurting job creation.  And
members of the House Financial Services Committee have questioned its
effectiveness.
"The Bureau has attempted to tackle a number of issues it
perceives to be problematic for consumers," said one lawmaker during a September
hearing on Capitol Hill.  "Some have helped, others may warrant
reconsideration."
And then there is Rodney - whose concerns Dori brought
back to Senator Gillibrand.
"He says he's been given the runaround by
this agency.  Is it doing enough for the little guy at home?" Dori
asked.
Senator Gillibrand responded, "It needs to keep doing its job, and
we're setting up this agency.  We're writing all the [regulations], it's not up
and running yet."
Dori also brought his concerns to Senator Chuck
Schumer, one of the original lawmakers behind the Bureau's
creation.
"Look, it's alot better than the old regulations, but it's
still got a ways to go," Senator Schumer said.
"What can be done in terms
of helping more people?" Dori asked him.
Senator Schumer answered, "Well,
they have to make sure it has adequate and good staff.  And they have to make
sure that when they order something be done, that the banks actually follow
through."
As for Rodney's situation with his bank, he says he's submitted
his fourth offer to it - but the amount is significantly lower than the last
offer, when again, the bank dragged its feet.
Senators Schumer and
Gillibrand are also looking into his situation.Bottom Line: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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