December 13, 2011

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Opens Ombuds Office

The federal agency that holds primary responsibility for regulating consumer protection in the U.S. has created an Ombudsman's Office to assist in the resolution of individual and systemic issues for depository and non-depository entities, and consumers.  Wendy Kamenshine has been appointed the Acting Ombudsman.

The office is characterized by independence, impartiality and confidentiality and was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  The tenets of the office are explained on its new website:
The Ombudsman will report to the CFPB’s Deputy Director with access to the Director. This reporting line ensures the Ombudsman’s independence within the CFPB. It also allows us to act as an early warning system and serve as a catalyst for change.

We do not advocate for one side, but for a fair process.

We have put safeguards in place to preserve confidentiality. We will not share your identifying information outside the Ombudsman’s Office unless you tell us we can. We also may have to share it if there is a threat of imminent risk of serious harm, you have raised an issue of government fraud, waste, or abuse, or if required by law.
Kamenshine is the Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen and has been the Senior Ombudsman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (CFPB Blog, Ombuds Office.)

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