BCFP Stops Publishing Report on Student Loan Complaints

For the first time in six years, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has apparently elected not to issue a statutorily mandated report analyzing complaints related to student loans filed by individuals, according to a published report

The agency is required to submit the report on the same day to congressional committees and a number of federal agencies and has usually done so in October, except for this year. 

Instead, a consumer advocacy headed by a former official at the BCFP decided to release its own report, which it did last week. Called “A Year Without Action” the report analyzes student loan-related complaints filed with the BCFP by consumers. 

“In the 382 days since President Trump’s appointees assumed control of the agency, the CFPB has not taken a single substantive action to stand up for student loan borrowers,” wrote Seth Frotman, the executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center and the former student loan ombudsman at the BCFP. “This includes failing in its statutory obligation to issue an annual report to Congress detailing the problems identified in the preceding year’s student loan complaints. Meanwhile, every type of borrower, with every type of loan, at every stage of repayment is getting hurt.”

The BCFP declined to comment. 

The complaints are useful, consumer advocates argue, because they can be the canary in the coal mine in terms of spotting troubling trends. But others, like ACA International, for example, argue that the complaints are less than reliable because they lack context and because they represent a small fraction of the overall interactions that financial services companies have with consumers. 

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