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How to File a Complaint with the DFPI

The DFPI plays a vital role in safeguarding consumers and promoting fairness among businesses in the financial marketplace. One critical method employed by the DFPI involves providing a free and easy way for consumers to file complaints against financial institutions. Learn why filing a complaint with the DFPI is essential, how it benefits you and others, and gain insight into the complaint process. 

Ways That a Complaint Helps You 

When you file a complaint, the DFPI can help you communicate with the financial institution of concern to ensure the company is aware of your issue and commits to resolving it. You will also receive email updates about your complaint and be able to track its status online. By voicing your concerns, you can influence the company to rectify the situation, improving your experience, and restoring your trust in the financial institution.  

Ways That a Complaint Helps Others 

Your complaint not only benefits you but also helps other consumers. By highlighting issues with a particular company, you enable us to identify patterns and protect other consumers by investigating the matter further and possibly taking action against the company. This collective effort helps maintain fair business practices and consumer protection in California. 

About the Complaint Process 

  1. Submit your complaint: To initiate the process, you must submit a complaint with the necessary details. You will receive email updates about your complaint and can check its status online. For details, visit the DFPI File a Complaint webpage or contact us at Ask.DFPI@dfpi.ca.gov or call toll-free at (866) 275-2677. 
  2. DFPI forwards the complaint: Once submitting your complaint, the DFPI will send your complaint to the company for review. If another government agency is better suited to assist you, the DFPI will forward your complaint to them and inform you accordingly. 
  3. Company response: The company will communicate with you as needed and address the issues in your complaint. They may inform you that they are working on a resolution and will provide a final response later. 

It is essential to understand the role of the DFPI in the complaint process: 

  • The DFPI can facilitate communication between consumers and financial institutions. While the DFPI does not act as an advocate for either party, they regularly review complaints to assess whether further action is appropriate through its enforcement and examination functions. 
  • The DFPI does not act as a court of law or as a lawyer on your behalf. 
  • Legal advice is beyond the scope of the DFPI. 
  • The DFPI does not resolve factual disputes or disagreements over the interpretation of contracts. 
  • If your complaint necessitates consulting an attorney, the California Courts Free & Low-Cost Legal Help website provides information you may find useful. 

Filing a complaint with the DFPI is essential in addressing financial issues. It helps you resolve your concerns and contributes to the protection of other consumers. Filing a complaint also helps inform the DFPI about trending scams and fraud in the marketplace and determine whether issuing a Consumer Alert is needed. Additionally, your complaint might be part of a larger investigation. Gathering multiple complaints against the same company, product, or service, helps the DFPI develop stronger enforcement actions and consumer protection policies. 

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Last updated: May 24, 2023 @ 11:56 am