CFPB expands consumer complaint database to include money transfers

cfpbThe CFPB expanded its public Consumer Complaint Database, which previously only took complaints related to credit cards, mortgages, student loans and bank accounts, to begin accepting money transfer complaints last week.

Consumers can submit a complaint if they have issues with money transfers, including funds not available as promised, the wrong amount was charged or received, incorrect or missing information or disclosures, frauds and scams and other transaction or service issues.

The CFPB is currently in the process of amending Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The final rule will provide consumer protections, including disclosures and error resolution, as well as cancellation rights, to consumers who send remittance transfers to other parties in a foreign country.

The rule was delayed in January pending the finalization of the CFPB’s December proposal, which would address several issues in the rule, and the agency has proposed an effective date of 90 days after the December proposal is finalized.

Under the proposed rule, remittance transfer providers are required to disclose the exchange rate and any fees associated with the transfer so consumers know exactly how much money will be received by the counterparty overseas.

Remittance providers are also required to investigate any disputes and fix any errors, and consumers will have 30 minutes after a payment is sent to cancel the transaction and receive a full refund.

Before the Dodd-Frank Act, international money transfers were largely excluded from existing consumer protection laws. The Dodd-Frank Act, however, expanded the EFTA to extend consumer protections to remittance transfers.

Data from the World Bank indicates that the U.S. is one of the top remittance-sending countries in the world, and many of the transfers are to Latin America and Asia.

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