Consumer Complaint Policy And Procedure

Overview

From time-to-time Company may receive a complaint. It is the policy of Company to provide a mechanism by which all complaints from customers, noncustomers, and other third parties are given prompt, courteous, and fair attention. All departments of the Company are required to handle complaints within a reasonable length of time. Every complaint is documented and tracked from the moment it is received until all follow ups have been completed.

Purpose of Policy

The Company is committed to offering quality consumer experiences, products and services. It is the Policy of the Company to investigate and respond to consumer complaints, disputes, and inquiries promptly and in accordance with the timeframes required by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Scope & Applicability

All employees, consultants, staff, and third-party service providers of Company, unless otherwise excepted from this policy, are expected to comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations for handling consumer complaints or inquiries including those relevant to:

  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act)1, which makes it unlawful for any provider of consumer financial products or services and third-party service providers to engage in any unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice (UDAAP). Company adequately identifies, measures, monitors, and controls UDAAP risks by complaint data analysis.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act2 which specifies timeframes to respond to credit reporting agencies and consumers regarding complaints on the accuracy of information sent to the credit bureau about the customer. The regulation also directs the institution to correct information that may be inadvertently reported incorrectly. Company thoroughly responds to credit reporting agencies.
  • Electronic Fund Transfers Act3 which specifies notice requirements and timeframe for investigating and resolving errors alleged by consumers regarding Electronic Fund Transfers. In compliance with the EFTA, Company generally completes its investigation of an error within 10 business days of receiving a notice of error. This timeframe may be extended to 45 calendar days if certain conditions are met.
  • Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) requires Company to follow specific guidelines when a consumer complains that an error has occurred on credit. Errors or disputes are to be referred to the Director of Compliance for detailed policies, procedures, and compliance initiatives. Regulation Z error resolution requirements are considerably different from those contained in this policy; therefore, it is important to know which error resolution procedures to follow in any given transaction.
  • Each potential complaint and inquiry is investigated, documented, tracked, and responded to. This goes for all complaints received by email, website contact us pages, regulators, or governmental authorities, include the BBB, CFSA, CFPB, State AG, or any other entity or organization. The complaints are kept logged in a spreadsheet that includes any information received in the complaint. The general spreadsheet format is attached hereto as Appendix 01. The data may at times be kept and tracked virtually so long as the data tracked contains the minimum information found in the attached Appendix 01.

This policy does not address general day-to-day complaints received at a contact center in the general course of business unless such compliant becomes a heightened complaint.

Roles, Responsibilities & Definitions

Written complaints will be responded to in writing. Complaints received through social media will be addressed by an administrator for the social media site. Oral complaints may receive an oral or written response, but will be documented regardless.

The following customer interactions and communication are not considered complaints:

  • Customer-impacting events. An example of a customer-impacting event would be a temporary technical failure such as an online outage for a period of time, and customers call or otherwise inform Company of the problem.
  • Business as usual events. This type of event would include a customer call regarding account information, a question about fees or services, etc.
  • Complaints falling under specific regulations such as account errors.

Written and signed complaints are to be submitted to the department senior manager, or his or her designee, to which the complaint is lodged, for action and resolution, and a response is to be made to the customer or noncustomer as soon as practicable and generally within 30 days from receipt.

Senior management is responsible for monitoring investigations and ensuring that responses are made in a timely manner. Serious allegations will always warrant special attention by senior management.

Definitions

Consumer Complaints

Any complaint a consumer lodges either through formally making a statement of complaint or sending a complaint in writing, that is part of the consumer loan, process, customer service, or other general lending issues. These are the types of complaints you would anticipate getting at a contact center level and include complaints where a supervisor or middle management has to intervene to resolve the complaints.

Heightened Complaints

These are complaints that are escalated beyond the general issues that staff, contact center, and middle management can resolve. They include complaints that need intervention beyond a supervisor, governmental complaints, legal demands, and issues brought to the Company from an outside agency.

Product or Service

A consumer product or service, specifically a financial product or service that specifically excludes insurance, securities and commodities trading, real estate brokerage, tax preparation or practicing law in compliance with. 12 U.S.C. § 5481(5), 12 U.S.C. § 5517.

Consumer Complaint Procedure

Process

Customer and noncustomer complaints may come in many forms. Complaints may be oral or in writing, and they may come directly from the customer or noncustomer, his or her attorney, or a regulatory agency. The appropriate procedure to follow for handling a customer’s complaint depends on the form in which it was received and the allegation made.

The senior manager of the department the complaint is logged in and the Director of Compliance will be made aware of all complaints; the complaints must be recorded on the consumer complaint log by the senior manager or designated administration staff.

The consumer complaint log will be used to record and track all interactions with the complainant and document the resolution.

General methods through which the Company may receive complaints include:

  • Via Company website
  • Via mail or secured email from federal or state regulatory agencies and organizations
  • Concerns raised by the community during examinations
  • Lawsuits filed by any party
  • Generated through internet, Company website and/or social media
  • Press articles raising concerns about the institution’s practices

Complaints received from customers or noncustomers

The senior manager or designated staff where the complaint is logged is to respond to all written complaints as soon as practicable and generally within 30 days from receipt. When an email is obtained, an email is to be sent to the customer or noncustomer upon receipt of the complaint, advising that the complaint has been received and is under investigation. All written complaints are to receive a written response to ensure that proper documentation is maintained. Senior managers and designated staff are responsible for:

  • Reviewing the complaint to determine the department affected, the alleged problem or issue, and whether a violation of law or Company policy may exist.
  • Forwarding the customer’s written complaint to the Director of Compliance, along with any other supporting documentation, within one business day after receipt of the complaint.
  • Determining the correct action. Any complaint that alleges fair lending violations, discriminatory actions, violations of law, or violations of regulation must be immediately referred to the Director of Compliance, chief operating officer, and chief credit officer, country manager, or similar position.
  • Investigating the complaint promptly and documenting the investigation.
  • Resolving the problem, if possible.
  • Preparing a reply.
  • Forwarding the reply letter to the complaining party.
  • Retaining the complaint, documentation of the investigation, and a copy of the reply letter in the complaint file.

Complaints received from attorneys and legal counsel

All complaint letters received from attorneys on behalf of a consumer must be forwarded to the Director of Compliance and General or In-House Counsel no later than the day after it is received. A written chronology, where appropriate, and a summary along with supporting documents are to be forwarded with the complaint letter. The General or In-House Counsel or his or her designee is to respond as soon as possible and generally within 30 days from the date of receipt.

Complaints received from Regulatory Agencies

All complaint letters received from regulatory agencies are to be forwarded to the Director of Compliance and General or In-House counsel within one business day of the receipt date along with any attachments necessary for an accurate, complete, and clear response. The Director of Compliance or Genearl or In-House Counsel or his or her designee is to respond to the complaint by the due date.

Response to a regulatory agency concerning a consumer complaint or inquiry will be made no later than 30 business days of receipt or within the time specified in the regulatory request. Regulatory responses will contain:

  • Company actions to respond to the complaint or inquiry of the consumer;
  • Consumer communication regarding the complaint; and follow-up actions by the Company to resolve the complaint or inquiry of the consumer.

Complaints received from electronic sites or social media

Any negative comment made on social media or an internet site will be identified and addressed by the marketing director, or similar position, or his or her designee at the marketing director’s discretion. The marketing director may make others aware of the complaint or comment and will address the complaint or comment appropriately. The marketing director will identify what is used to monitor social media and website interactions. All complaints received from internet sites or social media will be entered on the consumer complaint log.

Complaints received verbally

At times a customer or noncustomer will visit or call a contact center, location, or other department to express a complaint or concern. If the concern qualifies as a Heightened Complaint, personnel will escalate the situation to the proper department. Oral complaints will be handled either orally or in writing and will be logged on the consumer complaint log with a preference for a written response where practicable.

Inquiries received regarding credit reporting

Whether an inquiry about a consumer credit report is received by a consumer directly or by a crediting agency, the proper reporting department will be identified and senior management or that department’s designee will address the inquiry including its validity and will gather necessary supporting documents and information to fully and properly respond.

Procedure

The Company has established the following channels to receive any consumer inquiries and/or complaints concerning its consumer products and services:

Via Mail:

ViviaFi
Attn: Compliance Department
Finsana, LLC DBA Vivia Finance
40 east main St., Suite 147
Newark, DE, 19711
Customer Service Line: 1-866-268-2773

All complaints received in the compliance department will be forwarded to the proper department and responsible Senior Management within 24 hours of receiving the complaint for that department to appropriately respond.

In any situations where the proper department or Senior Management cannot be identified, the complaint will be sent to the Director of Compliance to make that determination. The Company is committed to responding and resolving all complaints in a compliant manner. All departments of Company are to handle Complaints within a reasonable length of time, or by timeframes required by regulation or law or as otherwise outlined in this policy. If no timeline is specified the default response is within 30 business days.

Company gathers consumer complaints and inquiries regardless of their source in order to track, categorize and record them. At minimum the following is tracked where possible:

  • Consumer Name and contact information
  • Complainant, if different from customer and contact information
  • Important dates, when the complaint was received, forwarded, resolved
  • Type of complaint and the resolution

Complaint Response

Timely acknowledgement to a consumer complaint received directly or through a regulatory agency is required in writing, where appropriate. The Company will provide a written acknowledgement to all complaints against, or inquiries concerning, a product or service offered by the Company as required by law.

All responses will move to the resolution phase unless follow-up with any actions is identified within the response. These actions must be documented and maintained with the customer complaint documentation.

When responding to consumer complaints (as applicable) take into consideration the following guidelines:

  1. Communication is courteous and complies with all applicable law
  2. Use plain English
  3. Provide an apology to the consumer for having to take the time to make his or her complaint
  4. Do not take responsibility for, but acknowledge the alleged problem or defect
  5. Encourage the customer to provide additional details regarding his or her concerns if there is a need for a follow-up
  6. Provide a brief outline of the steps the Company intends to take to resolve the problem
  7. Avoid making specific promises that may negatively affect the Company in any manner
  8. Thank the customer for his or her input and patience while the Company investigates the concern and provide a specific response and solution

Confidentiality

Consumer complaint information, investigative information, and confidential supervisory information is classified as confidential information and must be securely maintained by the Company in accordance with the Information Security Policy.

The Company will make customer account supporting information available to the customer in response to a complaint or inquiry, except the following information:

  • Confidential commercial information, including an algorithm used to derive credit scores or other risk scores or predictors;
  • Information collected by the Company for the purpose of preventing fraud or money laundering, or detecting or making any report regarding other unlawful or potentially unlawful conduct;
  • Information required to be kept confidential by any other provision of law; and
  • Nonpublic or confidential information, including confidential supervisory information and internal Company practices not identified in this Policy.

Inquiries or complaints related to credit disputes

When an inquiry or compliant is received relating to credit reporting, there is a specific procedure that applies if the inquire or compliant rises to the level of a credit dispute. These inquiries may come from a customer directly or from a credit reporting agency.

Items that can be disputed included:

  • Personal information: A customer’s personal information being inaccurate, including their name, addresses, Social Security number or date of birth.
  • Account information: A customer believes the information is inaccurate or incomplete:
  • Mixed credit files: A customer believes someone else’s information is being reported on their credit file. This may happen if a father and son (Sr. and Jr.) have the same name, for instance.
  • Duplicate reporting: A customer believes an item was reporting more than what is authorized by law.
  • Indications of fraud or identity theft: A customer believes there has been some sort of fraud committed in their name or with their information.

Upon receiving this complaint or inquiry the customer’s account will be thoroughly investigated with supporting documents to make a determination on the resolution or validity of the issue. If the result of the investigation finds that the information is accurate, the supervising manager will respond to the appropriate person or agency and the information will remain unchanged. These must be responded to within 30 days of receiving the complaint or inquiry.

Accompanying Information

Training

The Company will conduct on-going training on an annual, or as otherwise necessary, basis to employees on the contents of this policy. Staff will periodically receive verbal reminders regarding procedures to follow whenever a complaint is received.

Enforcement

Each department that receives complaints is responsible for enforcing this policy and the Director of Compliance will oversee that enforcement. The Director of Compliance will monitor complaints received by reviewing the consumer complaint log to determine if identifiable trends exist that should be addressed. Complaints and related analyses will be reported to the Executive Compliance Committee. The consumer complaint process will be audited periodically as a part of its compliance management system audit.

Exceptions and Interpretations

Those who do not have the ability to deal with customer complaints, such as janitorial staff, are exempt from this policy.

Maintenance and Review

The Executive Compliance Committee has responsibility for approving this policy.

Record Retention

Records should always be retained or destroyed according to the Company’s record retention policies. A record of consumer complaints, correspondence, inquiries, or error notifications will be retained in compliance with Company and regulatory retention requirements. Retained records will include a log of all complaint communications, receipt, investigation, resolution, and other complaint reporting data including product/service analysis, quantity, and complaint category. Complaint documentation and responses are retained by the Compliance department unless another department is designated by the Executive Compliance Committee.

Administration and Policy Owner

This Consumer Complaint Policy is to be Administered and Owned by the Risk Department and the Director of Risk or similar position.

Effective Date

This Policy is effective immediately upon approval by the Executive Compliance Committee.

Appendix

Appendix 01 – Consumer Complaint Log

© ViviaFi 2024. All Rights Reserved.

-ViviaFi is not a lender in all states. ViviaFi uses various credit reports, data sources, and application information as part of their underwriting. Not all applications are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on applicant qualifications and by state. Decision may take longer if additional verification or documents are required.

†Applications approved before 1:30 p.m. CT Monday-Friday are generally funded same business day, subject to your bank's processing times. Applications approved other times are generally funded the next business day. Some applications may require additional verification. In such cases, if approved, funds will be disbursed by the following business day after the additional verifications are complete.