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Handling Complaints and Inquiries

Recorded on November 30, 2011

Complaints and inquiries from your customers are not only reflections on your products and services, but also are indicators of who may leave you as a customer tomorrow. This issue is important enough for each regulatory agency to have a department to handle them, and for the Dodd-Frank Act to impose new requirements.

It is well documented that it is easier to retain customers today than replace them tomorrow. What reactions do you get when you notify customers of an increased fee? These reactions are a barometer of customer satisfaction. Do you have a method to verify that claims under Regs E and Z are investigated and timely paid? Are there complaints that a lender isn't treating all customers equally? The way you handle complaints can have serious consequences when you are examined for CRA, fair lending and compliance.

The proper handling of complaints and inquiries isn't often given the full attention it deserves. Your institution should have a formal and centralized system to both investigate and respond to them. Your examiner will ask what the outcomes of your complaints investigations were, and they have their own list for you to verify. One lender had to pay a consumer $90,300 over a $17,000 debt because it failed to follow FCRA investigation requirements.

Many laws and regulations actually require that you handle complaints in a timely manner. RESPA, Reg. Z, Reg. E, Reg. AA and more impose rules that you must follow.

In this webinar we'll discuss:

  • Why you should have a Complaints and Inquiries Policy
  • Who should investigate and respond to complaints
  • How and why to establish a central tracking system
  • Which complaints need to be responded to under regulatory timelines
  • What differences exist between complaints from a customer, from the Better Business Bureau and from your regulator
  • Common complaints the regulators are seeing, what they tell your customer, and how you should respond
  • A formula for providing written responses to your customer
  • Best practices in the industry for complaint and inquiry procedures
  • What the Dodd-Frank Act will require for handling complaints

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