Last year's passage of the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" established the creation of the new consumer financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was established to enforce consumer finance laws, to oversee large banks and financial services company and to adopt or to simplify the rules to make financial markets and products work best for American consumers. While this new Bureau has become a partisan issue, it was strongly suggested since March 2008, when former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson proposed establishing a Federal Commission to protect consumers. In my opinion, is a little late to the party and long overdue. We must ask whether the CFPB existed 10 years ago, if the mortgage bubble would have grown, finally bursting, leaving so many American families experiencing a personal financial nightmare instead of the American dream.
As a financial planner so that every individual deals with a certain level of uncertainty when it comes to financial issues that affect your life. That could include the unexpected illness, jobs, higher cost of living and support a family – but worry about the fine print of financial documents should not be one of them. Each of us should be able to count on an innate fairness when dealing with financial services companies and that the contracts that you sign and accept they are not full of tricks and traps that can set individuals for financial failure. The CFPB was created to level the playing field for American consumers.
At the beginning of February the new CFPB launched "Open to suggestions" on its website at www.consumerfinance.gov. As the agency prepares to formally begin operations on July 21, 2011, Elizabeth Warren, who currently directs the Bureau asks the audience for suggestions. The website says, "as CFPB build an agency to ensure that consumers the information they need to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families, we need to hear from you. Before you begin playing the federal consumer financial laws, we want to know what you think. The Bureau of consumer financial protection exists to serve the American public and open to suggestions "is your opportunity to offer input." You have a story to tell – a suggestion to make? It is also possible to upload your YouTube videos. If you like social media tools, you can send your suggestions via Twitter and follow the CFPB on FaceBook. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive important updates as they occur.
People have begun to tell their stories and make proposals relating to areas such as credit card agreements and credit scores. Some contributors have suggested that the CFPB make financial education a priority and as a financial planner, I agree. The financial planning Association long has put financial literacy at the forefront of our contribution to the public and many of us offer pro bono services and events throughout the year. Check www.fpanet.org financial instruments to take advantage of consumers online and stay informed on any upcoming events in your area.
If you thought that nobody was listening to Main Street, while Wall Street has been getting all the breaks, you now have the CFPB plainclothes and a consumer lawyer Elizabeth Warren, Chief of the Bureau. Want to hear from you – tell them what you think!
Pamela Sandy, CFP ?
Trust, LLC, Financial & Investment Advisors