Magazine article American Banker

CFPB Offers Details on Consumer Complaints

Magazine article American Banker

CFPB Offers Details on Consumer Complaints

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Blackwell

WASHINGTON a The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its semiannual report on Monday, detailing the agency's accomplishments during the first half of 2012.

The report highlighted the agency's consumer complaint database, including providing some fresh details on the number and kind of complaints the CFPB has received.

"Consumers deserve to be treated fairly, and to have someone stand on their side when they are not," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a press release. "The CFPB has used the tools at our disposal for the benefit of consumers in the past year, and we pledge to continue to do so as we work to promote a transparent, fair, and competitive consumer financial marketplace."

So far, 43% of complaints received by the CFPB since it opened its doors on July 21 were about mortgages, while 34% were about credit cards. The third most frequent type of complaint had to with bank accounts and other services, at 15%, while student loan-related complaints represented only 4%.

The figures were based on roughly 55,300 complaints received prior to June 30 of this year.

Of the 23,800 mortgage complaints, the majority - or 54% - was focused on problems when a consumer was unable to make loan payments, while 25% concerned loan servicing.

"Consumers who have filed these complaints generally appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives," the report said. "The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission timeframes, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations, and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period."

Of the 18,800 credit card complaints, 14% were focused on billing disputes, while 10% concerned a card's interest rate.

Of the 8,100 complaints received about bank accounts, 41% focused on account management, while 25% concerned deposits and withdrawals. …

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