Office of Consumer Protection Report
TRENDS IN MEMBER COMPLAINTS AND CONSUMER INQUIRIES
In creating the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), the
NCUA Board sought, among other important goals, to
centralize the member complaint process. This goal was
achieved in 2010 as OCP started and eventually assumed that
responsibility from the five regional offices. In so doing, OCP
is able to provide consistent service to credit union members
in resolving disputes with their federal credit union. Since
assuming this nationwide responsibility, OCP has responded
to more than 2,100 member complaints involving more than
680 federal credit unions.
In addition to addressing member complaints, OCP responds
to questions from credit unions, their members, and
; Consumer protection laws,
; Consumer compliance regulations, and
; Share insurance matters.
As of Jan. 31, 2012, OCP has responded to 12,026 outside
For the vast majority of complaints filed, federal credit unions
have been in compliance with federal protection laws or
regulations. Of the member complaints reviewed by OCP in
2011, less than 1 percent involved a consumer compliance
violation. Of the violations identified, approximately one-half
involved technical violations of procedures for investigating
unauthorized electronic fund transfers outlined in Regulation
E (12 CFR Part 205).
When OCP identifies regulatory errors, federal credit unions
do not hesitate to correct the area of non-compliance and to
provide remedies to their members. For example, one federal
credit union refunded more than $52,000 to a member after
a technical error resulted in repeated unauthorized
withdrawals from the member’s account. In another example,
a federal credit union reimbursed a member in excess of
$4,000 due to inaccurate disclosures in violation of the Truth
in Lending Act, Regulation Z.
Member complaints last year often involved home mortgages.
Members’ concerns included rejected mortgage modification
requests, disapproved short sales, and pending foreclosure
actions. These concerns track the overall performance of the
economy and the slump in the home mortgage market.
NCUA does not have the authority or is not in the position to
provide the relief that members have sought regarding home
mortgages. However, NCUA supports and encourages credit
unions’ efforts to work with their members in finding common
solutions. In fact, just last month, the NCUA Board put out
for comment a proposed loan modification rule, applicable to
federal credit unions, that will help keep members in their
homes as well as provide relief to credit unions.
OCP is on the front lines of responding to member and
consumer inquires and complaints. From this unique vantage
point, we see firsthand how credit unions continue to meet
federal requirements in the face of challenging economic
times, fluctuating markets, and unfortunate consumer
hardships. We also see how credit unions continue to
exemplify the “people helping people” philosophy.
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