(Bloomberg) -- Johnson Tyler, a longtime legal aid attorney in Brooklyn, often spends his days battling financial companies on behalf of aggrieved low-income clients. Not much has changed in the wake of the Great Recession, despite new federal rules meant to better protect households from financial misconduct, except in one area: When Tyler complains about a large company, the company actually responds.

“It’s the biggest change” Tyler says he has noticed in the consumer finance industry since the 2007-09 financial crisis. The reason is simple: a government-maintained public database that collects consumers’ complaints, tracks companies’ responses, and records whether consumers ended up satisfied.

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