Stephanie Ostrowski Apr. 5, 2013, 12:58pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - There are now 90,000 searchable complaints on mortgages, bank accounts, student loans and credit cards in the newly released largest public database of federal consumer financial complaints.

Announced March 28 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Consumer Complaint Database will allow the public to see what consumers complained about, why, and how the company responded.

The database has more than one million data points which covers about 450 companies. In many cases, it includes a sub-category of products as well as type of complaint, date of submissions, customer's ZIP code, and the company name.

The identity of the customer and other personal information is not entered in the database.
"By sharing these complaints with the public, we are creating greater transparency in consumer financial products and services," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray at a field hearing in Des Moines, Iowa, where he announced the expansion of the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database. "The database is good for consumers and it is also good for honest businesses. We believe the marketplace of ideas can do great things with this data."

Users can easily track, sort, search and download information from the database. Then customers can build their own visualizations, charts, and graphs which can be embedded on other websites and shared through social media.

Data is also available through application programing interface (API) where developers can build applications, conduct analyses, and perform research.

As the CFPB handles more complaints, the live database will be updated daily. However, when the CFPB accepts consumer complaints about other financial products and services, they will be available on the database after a period of time. For example, credit reporting complaints will be included in the database in the near future.

Additionally, complaints are only listed in the database after the company has responded or after they have had the complaint for 15 days.

Consumers have the option to review and dispute the company responses. CFPB will then review the feedback and use any other available information to in several ways, such as to help prioritize complaints for investigations.
To file a complaint, consumers can:

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