The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Thursday the launch of Ask CFPB, “an interactive online tool that will help consumers find clear, unbiased answers to their financial questions.”
“Financial markets can be complex and confusing, and consumers need information they can count on,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a press release. “Ask CFPB gives consumers answers in plain language so they can make sound financial decisions. But today’s launch is just the beginning – we will continue to grow and improve this dynamic tool with the invaluable public feedback we receive.”
The Ask CFPB portal currently contains more than 350 easy-to-read, plain-language entries written by the Bureau’s subject-matter experts. Consumers can view entries organized by “most helpful,” “most viewed,” or “recently updated.” Consumers will be able to rate the entries to help others easily find useful information going forward.
The majority of the entries are focused on credit card and mortgage questions. But the portal also features a section devoted to questions about debt collection.
The debt collection section currently tackles consumer questions such as, “What should I do if a creditor or debt collector sues me?,” “What information do debt collectors have to give me about my debt?,” and “What constitutes harassment by a debt collector?”
The CFPB noted that it intends for Ask CFPB to not only be a Q&A resource for consumers, but a fully-integrated solution engine for common financial problems. The portal will provide relevant links to documents and reports prepared by the CFPB as well as other agencies (the FTC, in the case of debt collection).
Every debt collection professional should take some time to walk though the Ask CFPB debt collection section to get an idea of what information is provided to consumers.