CFPB’s Complaint Volume is Swelling

complaintThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors in July 2011 and immediately began accepting consumer complaints about various financial products such as mortgages, credit cards, and bank accounts and services.

As of January 2016, the number of consumer complaints the Bureau has handled since opening its doors rose to 790,000, according to the 7th volume of the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Snapshot for December 2015 released on Thursday. Approximately 230,000 of those complaints were received in December 2015.

“Many of the financial services examined in today’s report are used by people struggling to make ends meet who can least afford to have issues with their financial products,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “The Bureau will continue to use complaints submitted about these products to target bad actors in the financial marketplace.”

Despite being the second-most complaint about financial product in December behind debt collection, mortgages remained the most complained about financial product to the Bureau as of January 1, 2016, with 209,618 total complaints, with debt collection coming in a close second at 205,082. Credit reporting is third with 127,284. These three categories have combined for about 542,000 complaints, which is more than two-thirds of the complaints the Bureau has received in its four-and-a-half year history.

1-28 CFPB Graph

In the New York metro area, the geographic region spotlighted in the December Consumer Complaint Snapshot, mortgages are the most complained about product. Out of the 57,700 complaints the CFPB has received from consumers in the New York metro area, 27 percent of them have been about mortgages.

In June 2012, the CFPB launched its Consumer Complaint Database online that included basic, anonymous, individual-level information about the complaints received. In June 2015, the CFPB began allowing consumers to publish narratives of their complaints. In April 2015, the Five Star Institute and Black Knight Financial Services released a white paper on Friday titled Analysis and Study of CFPB Consumer Complaint Data Related to Mortgage Servicing Activities to provide more context around complaints the Bureau receives on mortgages.

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