Personal Finance

CFPB Is Collecting More of Your Data

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As part of its large-scale effort to better protect consumers from deceptive and misleading practices from a wide variety of bank and nonbank financial institutions, the federal watchdog agency tasked with regulating the industry has been collecting a massive amount of data in recent months.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now going about the process of collecting as much information from banks and other entities as it can, particularly pertaining to borrowers’ dealings with these companies, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

For instance, it recently paid Experian, CoreLogic, and other data compiling companies $10 million for information on auto loans, payday lending and mortgages, and has also requested similar information on credit cards and other such products from a number of major lenders and banks.

“Within the next year, [the] CFPB will be the best place for consumer finance data,” Sendhil Mullainathan, the consumer bureau’s assistant director for research, told the news site.

These efforts have been met with some objection by the financial institutions asked to turn over the data in the course of regulatory oversight, because of the large amount of value they place upon it, the report said. A number of federal lawmakers have also expressed concerns about what such information compiling initiatives could mean for consumers and their privacy, with a few top Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee in particular having misgivings about the moves.

For its part, the CFPB says these efforts will include data that is largely anonymized — as is required by federal law — so that no information about the people involved can be gleaned from it, the report said. The intent is that consumers will be able to comb through this information and determine more about their options related to financial products than they can currently, which in turn might help them to find the best possible choices for them and their unique situations. However, it has not yet decided on exactly how it will make the massive amounts of data public, or whether it will do so at all.

[Credit Cards: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com.]

The CFPB has been improving safeguards for consumers’ finances since it gained regulatory power a few years ago, including bringing more types of institutions under its purview as a means of better protecting people from problems related to a broader number of products.

Image: iStockphoto

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  • MELODEE GRAHAM

    I HAD SOMEONE CONTACT ME FROM A COLLECTION AGENCY CALL MW OMEGA FOR A SO CALLED DEBT THAT I OWE TO AN ONLINE PAYDAY GROUP. I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE GROUP NOR CAN I FIND THE NAME MW OMEGA WHICH IS THE SUPPOSED COLLECTION AGENCY. THEY HAVE THREATENED ME IN WAYS OF GETTING ARRESTED ETC STATING THAT THIS GROUP HAS CHARGES OF FORGERY, WRITING A BAD CHECK ETC…HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION BEFORE I FORK OUT MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE?

    • Credit.com

      Melodee — They can’t have you arrested just because you owe a debt. The fact that they’re claiming to have you arrested on charges for forgery and writing a bad check raises red flags that this is a scam. Don’t fork out any money or agree to anything until you read this first: Beware of Fake Payday Loan Debt Collection Scam

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