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Statement of Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director
"Despite enormous opposition from banks, credit bureaus and other firms, the CFPB this week announced that the first batch of 7,700 consumer narratives or stories has been posted to its successful Public Consumer Complaint Database. While PIRG has already used the database to publish reports analyzing complaint trends in 5 separate financial markets, we look forward to adding richer, more detailed information from the new story fields to our future reports. For example, PIRG and other researchers will now be able to compare firms based on how many interactions a consumer had before she obtained redress, how many months elapsed, how much money was in dispute and how much, if any, was returned. Consumers will be able to read stories about other consumers' problems, which will inform their own choices. Companies will be able to take advanatge of the database to avoid practices that get other firms in trouble. This is absolutely a win for everyone.
"Over 10,000 of our members joined us in comments to the CFPB in support of this important expansion proposal. The CFPB listened. The nation's largest public government complaint database, with over 627,000 complaints received in just 4 years, is now even better because consumers are empowered to help others make better choices by voluntarily making their own (redacted) stories public."
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