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Has Your Bank Acted Illegally?
Posted By Ron On May 11, 2010 @ 5:06 AM In Banking,Personal Finance,Tips & Techniques | Comments Disabled
Complaints against banks have been on the rise for a few years now, most of them relating to customer service and specific individual bank policies that don’t necessarily violate any laws or regulations. But, if you have a legal complaint against your bank and they have failed to address it, where do you turn? What do you do? Who should you complain to? Answer: The Federal Reserve .
After you file a complaint, an appropriate Federal Reserve  representative will determine the nature of your complaint and forward it to the appropriate regulator. You should receive your first response within 15 days, telling you whether the Federal Reserve will be handling your complaint, or another (more appropriate) agency. The complaint will be processed according to each agency’s established investigation procedures. You should receive a determination within 60 days.
You can file a complaint if you believe your bank has been unfair or misleading, discriminated against you in lending or on a mortgage , or violated a law or regulation. The Federal Reserve investigates complaints related to federal consumer protection laws, such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act , Fair Credit Reporting Act , and the Truth in Lending Act .
First, try to settle the problem directly with your bank or financial institution. If you cannot resolve the problem, contact The Federal Reserve for help. To file a complaint, you can:
Federal Reserve Consumer Help
PO Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55480
Note: All complaints to the Federal Reserve must be in writing!
In your complaint, be sure to include:
Do not include your original documentation but it’s a good idea to have some copies on hand. The agency investigating your complaint will contact you if any additional documentation is needed. If you need assistance with filing a complaint, you can call toll free at 888-851-1920 (TTY: 877-766-8533) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.
They will connect you with or forward your complaint to the appropriate federal regulator for the bank or institution involved in your complaint.
If your complaint is against a financial institution that the Federal Reserve  supervises, it will be investigated by one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. As the Reserve Bank investigates each issue raised in your complaint, it will:
The Reserve Bank may also contact you to request additional information necessary to complete its investigation.
The Reserve Bank will let you know if it finds an error or a violation of a federal law or regulation. Investigations typically take 30 to 60 days to complete. If more than 60 days have passed, the Reserve Bank will contact you to let you know the status of its investigation. Please note that it may take several months to investigate more complex complaints like those alleging illegal credit discrimination.
Although the Federal Reserve looks into every complaint that involves the banks it regulate, it doesn’t have the authority to resolve every type of problem. For example:
The financial industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the world and those regulations are designed to protect you, the consumer, from unfair and/or misleading practices. If you feel that you’ve been a victim, make certain you fight back.
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 The Federal Reserve: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
 mortgage: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/mortgage-basics/
 Equal Credit Opportunity Act: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre15.shtm
 Fair Credit Reporting Act: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf
 Truth in Lending Act: http://www.occ.treas.gov/handbook/til.pdf
 complaint online: http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov/consumercomplaint.cfm
 consumer complaint form: https://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov/complaint/formcomplaint.cfm
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