Professor Schmitz Writes About the Need for Transparency at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Update: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on September 18, 2019, that it will continue the publication of consumer complaints, data fields and narrative descriptions through the Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database while making several enhancements to the information available to users of the database. The enhancements include: modified disclaimers to provide better context to the published data; integrating financial information and resources into the complaint process to help address questions and better inform consumers before they submit a complaint; and information to assist consumers who wish to contact the financial company to get answers to their specific questions. Additionally, the Bureau will work to provide enhanced features for the database that include dynamic visualization tools on recent complaint data.

In June 2018, Professor Amy J. Schmitz joined forces with consumer law expert Prof. Pamela Foohey of Indiana University Maurer School of Law to voice need for transparency and preservation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s public consumer complaints database.

The op ed in Law360, “Hiding Complaints About Wall St. Benefits Mulvaney Donors,” explains how publicly releasing information about consumer complaints is essential to the CFPB’s primary purpose of ensuring that “markets for financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.”

Professors Schmitz and Foohey also joined with Professor Angela Littwin from University of Texas School of Law to serve as primary drafters of a response that was submitted to the CFPB on June 27, 2018 (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3190797).