1. Learn about this resource. 

Residents can ask for help with a problem involving their bank, insurance company, mortgage lender, investment advisor, student loan servicer, or other financial service companies and professionals that operate in DC. We—DC Government—will thoroughly review your problem and work with you to identify if there is a solution that can solve your problem. If your issue requires further investigation or criminal prosecution, we will refer the matter to the proper authorities.

 

This service is called Consumer Complaints and is offered by The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.

2. Check if you are eligible.

You are eligible if you live in DC.

get help dealing with a problem with a financial institution?

DO YOU WANT TO

3. Request help.


  1. If possible, contact your financial institution with your problem first.
  2. If you’re not comfortable contacting the financial institution directly or if your problem is not addressed fairly, request help from DC Government online or by submitting a form to disbcomplaints@dc.gov or 1050 First St. NE, Suite 801, Washington, DC 20002. You’ll need to explain your problem in detail and include copies of letters, invoices, and other materials to document your problem.





4. Gather more information.

What happens after I request help?


  1. We—DC Government—will send you a confirmation letter via mail within three business days of receiving your request. This letter will include the name of the person who will review your problem.
  2. We will review the facts of your problem, analyze DC laws and regulations, and contact the institution for a response.
  3. If we find that the institution violated DC laws and regulations, we will require the institution to correct the issue. If not, no action will be taken.
  4. We will do our best to complete your case within 45 days. We will mail you a letter with the final status of the investigation and an update on if any next steps are needed.
We will send you a confirmation letter within three days of receiving your request to let you know if your problem falls outside of our authority.




Are there any additional requirements I should know about?


We can’t represent you if you take legal action, so you may need to consult an attorney.




Who should I contact if I have questions?


First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please contact our Consumer Services team at (202) 727-8000, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 4:45 pm. You may also email us at disbcomplaints@dc.gov using the subject line “I have a question.”




I still need help with my finances. What should I do?


You can find information about other resources that might help on our finances resources page.




Frequently Asked Questions


What type of financial institution can DC Government investigate? Examples of financial institutions that we—DC Government—investigate include banks, insurance companies, student loan servicers, mortgage lenders, check cashers, service contracts, investment advisors, and appraisal companies. We can’t help with problems that involve financial institutions that aren’t required to follow DC laws and regulations, but we may be able to help you contact another government agency for help if your problem falls outside of our authority. What type of issues can DC Government investigate? We can assist with any concerns you have with your bank, insurance company, lender, or other financial institution. We can also help you figure out how to pay back your student loans. Will DC Government contact the financial institution I’m having a problem with? We may forward a copy of your request for help to your financial institution and ask them for an explanation. We’ll review their explanation to determine if they violated DC laws and regulations. If we find a violation, we can require them to take action to correct the problem. Will DC Government help me understand my agreement with the financial institution? Yes, if it could help solve the problem, we may explain the details of your agreement with the financial institution. What can DC Government do to help if the financial institution’s actions didn’t violate any DC laws or regulations? If we don’t find that the company violated any DC law or regulation, we may suggest alternative solutions for you to resolve your problem. That could include helping you contact another government agency if your problem falls outside of our authority. Can DC Government represent me in court? No, we can’t be your legal representative or intervene in a lawsuit, in or out of court. Because we can’t represent you in a legal action or offer you legal advice, you may need to consult an attorney. If you are at risk of or involved in a foreclosure, we may refer you to our Foreclosure Prevention Program, which may include legal services. Can DC Government investigate my denied medical insurance claim? We can investigate whether the insurance company had a good faith reason for denying your medical claim or if they violated your agreement or any DC laws or regulations. However, we can’t give any advice or make any decisions about your medical condition. Can DC Government determine whether the financial institution is telling the truth? No, we can’t settle disputes of facts surrounding your problem or decide who is telling the truth in a dispute between you and your financial institution. Can the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hold my fine until DC Government has finished investigating my problem? No, we can’t ask the DMV to hold your fine while we investigate. Can DC Government recommend a financial institution to me? No, we can’t make recommendations or help you decide which financial institution to do business with. Can DC Government share confidential documents from the financial institution? Unfortunately, we can’t share documents that the financial institution says are confidential. We will comply with any court-ordered requests for documents. I have an unresolved problem from several years ago. Can you help? It depends. The law only requires that financial institutions keep certain records for 7 years, so if your problem is more than 7 years old, we may not be able to help. What happens if I am not satisfied with the results of the investigation? If you are not satisfied with the results of your investigation, you may request that the findings are reviewed by our senior management. A manager will review the investigator’s files, your concerns, and discuss the findings with you. If you would like to receive a manager’s review, contact our Consumer Services team at (202) 727-8000, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 4:45 pm. Or, you can email us at disbcomplaints@dc.gov.




Do all eligible applicants receive help with their problem?


It depends. We may not be able to help with a problem if the financial institution isn’t required to follow DC laws and regulations, but we will try to help you contact another government agency for help if your problem falls outside of our authority.





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This page was last updated February 2021.