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CFPB 137 card complaints live 17000 in backlog
WASHINGTON (6/20/12)--While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) consumer credit card complaint database, which went live on Tuesday, features 137 separate credit card complaints, none of the issues reported are tied to credit union cards.

The CFPB's database gives details on the issue that prompted a consumer's credit card complaint, the zip code of the consumer that made the complaint, and the company against which the complaint was made. Information on how the issue raised was resolved, and whether it was resolved in a satisfactory fashion, is also included.

The database does not include those credit card complaints which the CFPB has received, and referred to other prudential regulators.

The agency said it will update the database as new complaints are received. Overall, the CFPB said it has received around 17,000 complaints in the past year, and these complaints should be added into the new online database later this year. The CFPB has only collected, and passed on to credit card issuers, complaints related to financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets.

According to 2010 Federal Reserve estimates, nearly 610 million credit cards are held by U.S. consumers, and the average credit card user maintains 3.5 credit accounts.

Billing disputes have been the most common complaint lodged with the agency, and the CFPB said that 84% of the credit card complaints filed have been forwarded on to consumers' respective credit card companies. Card companies have responded to 2,000 of the complaints by compensating cardholders financially, and the CFPB said $25 payments were the most common form of financial relief given by card companies. The median amount of relief given was $130.

The agency on Tuesday said it is also considering creating similar databases to compile and present complaints regarding the other consumer financial products it regulates, including mortgages, private student loans, and bank products. The CFPB will accept public comment on this possibility until July 19, and similar databases could go live by the end of this year.

The Credit Union National Association will file a comment letter strongly recommending the CFPB's consumer complaint process be as tailored as possible to avoid groundless consumer complaints.
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