How can you help me?
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities does not regulate all financial institutions in Pennsylvania. However, we can provide consumers with limited information on state-chartered financial institutions and receive complaints about banks and banking institutions, state-licensed companies and individuals in non-bank lending and individuals and companies engaged in the sale of securities. If your complaint is about a federally-chartered institution, we can refer you to the appropriate federal agency.
What Happens Next?
A member of our Consumer Services staff will contact you regarding your complaint/inquiry as soon as possible and may require additional information or clarification. Please ensure that the department is able to respond effectively to your complaint/inquiry by providing all requested information and important facts/circumstances pertaining to the complaint/inquiry being filed. The department deems any information provided to the Department of Banking and Securities to be confidential and will not release such information without your permission or unless disclosure is authorized or required under the law.
Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Consumer Services Office will send a copy of the complaint to the financial institution or licensee, which then has 30 days to provide a written response to the Consumer Services Office. The length of time it takes to resolve a matter will depend on the complexity of the issues, whether we need any additional information, and the number of complaints the Consumer Services Office receives. If you have an emergency situation such as the imminent loss of your home, please contact us by telephone.
What if I have a confidential complaints?
If the consumer does not want a financial institution or licensee to read the complaint, the Consumer Services Office will honor that request. Be sure to clearly state your wishes in the complaint. Confidential complaints will not receive a response from the Consumer Services Office. Instead, the complaint may be filed for review by department examiners at the next regularly scheduled examination.
What happens in the case of a factual dispute?
A factual dispute arises when a complainant and the financial institution or licensee cannot agree on what actually happened, and there is no documentation to sufficiently verify either party’s claim. The Consumer Services Office does not have the authority to act as a judge in these instances. Additionally, not all problems can be resolved through regulatory assistance. In these instances, the Consumer Services Office may suggest the resolution of a complaint be pursued through private legal counsel or other mediation or arbitration. Persons without means to hire counsel may qualify for Legal Aid assistance.
To whom should I give out personal or financial information?
You should give personal and financial information only to people known personally to you and trusted by you.
Our staff fields questions about a wide variety of financial and business subjects similar
to these below:
- Can a debt management company or a debt settlement company help me?
- Is it true that sometimes a cashier’s check is not good?
- Should I pay a fee to apply for a loan?
- How can I clear up an old car title?
- Is a bank required to cash my check?
- What happens if I have a problem with my ATM card?
- Can the bank refuse to turn my coins into cash?
- Is my credit card company allowed to increase the interest it charges?
- Does my mortgage lender have to pay me interest on my escrow account?
- When can I withdraw money from my account after making a deposit?
- How can I prevent identity theft?
- What can you tell me about payday loans?
- Is it OK to use a lender who does business over the Internet?
- Who can I talk to about problems with my Food Stamps EBT card?
- Why is it important to pay my mortgage on or before the due date?
- How are my mortgage payments posted?
- What is the difference between simple interest and amortized interest?
- Is it true that you license pawnbrokers and repo men?
- Can the bank take money out of my account without warning because of something that happened with one of my children’s accounts?
- What happens when I finish paying off my mortgage?
- My investment adviser will not refund fees charged to my account that I feel are not justified. What can I do?
- Can you help me locate my retirement funds?
- My investment has decreased rather than increased. I feel that my broker is not properly managing my account. Can I file a complaint?