Advertisement
credit cards

How to File Complaints About Your Bank or Credit-Card Company

The new consumer protection agency will start helping soon, but here's where you can turn to for help now.

Where do you turn if you have a complaint about your bank or credit-card issuer and it's not willing to resolve the problem?

Starting July 21, consumers will be able to submit complaints about deceptive or abusive financial products to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau will set up a toll-free number and a Web site to receive complaints. The CFPB will have the power to make sure financial firms respond to customers and impose fines on companies that break consumer-protection laws, says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com and author of The Credit Card Guidebook.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Until then, Hardekopf suggests that consumers reach out to these groups if credit-card (or other financial) companies won't act to resolve complaints.

Better Business Bureau (BBB). File a complaint with the BBB in the city where the company is located. The BBB will send your complaint to the company within two business days, and the company will have 14 days to respond -- or it will be contacted by the BBB again. According to the BBB, more than 70% of complaints are resolved.

Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.This agency regulates credit cards issued by national banks (such as Chase and Bank of America). You can download a complaint form from the Office of the Comptroller site.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Federal Reserve. You can file a complaint with the Federal Reserve if think your bank has been unfair or misleading, has discriminated against you or violated a consumer protection law. If the bank is one that the Federal Reserve supervises, one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks will investigate it. Otherwise, the Federal Reserve will forward your complaint to the appropriate federal regulator.

State Attorney General's Office. Although it can't force a company to respond to your complaint, your state attorney general's office can refer you to government agencies that can help address the problem. If other consumers complain about the company, the attorney general may seek legal action on behalf of the state.

Federal Trade Commission's Division of Credit Practices. This agency won't solve individual problems, but it enters complaints into a database used by civil and criminal law enforcement agencies. Complaints can lead to investigations and legal action.

For tips on lodging your complaint, see my column The Right Way to Get a Complaint Resolved, as well as Learn What to Include in Your Complaint from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Follow me on Twitter

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump issued an executive order to suspend the collection of Social Security payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 10, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020
How a Second Stimulus Check Could Differ from Your First One
Tax Breaks

How a Second Stimulus Check Could Differ from Your First One

The HEROES Act, which the House passed in May, would authorize another round of stimulus checks. While the new payments would be similar to the first …
August 11, 2020

Recommended

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check
Tax Breaks

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check

If you don't have to use your stimulus check for basic necessities, consider putting the money to work for you. You'll thank yourself later.
July 30, 2020
8 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Tax Breaks

8 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

Since this year's tax deadline was pushed back to July 15, many people just recently filed their tax return. That means there are a lot of tax refunds…
July 17, 2020
If You're Using Cash Less Often, You're Part of a Trend
Technology

If You're Using Cash Less Often, You're Part of a Trend

The pandemic is speeding up the use of digital payments.
July 2, 2020
The Best Bank Accounts for You
banking

The Best Bank Accounts for You

Kiplinger's contributing editor Lisa Gerstner joins our Your Money's Worth podcast to unveil the best banks for all kinds of savers. Also, our hosts R…
June 30, 2020