CFPB launches monthly complaint highlight

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched the first of a series of monthly complaint profiles.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched the first of a series of monthly complaint profiles.

Each issue will highlight complaints about a particular product and from a particular geographic area. The first installment featured a report on complaint trends in Milwaukee and debt collection complaints.

Most complaints in the Milwaukee area concern debt collection, accounting for 28 percent of complaints. Mortgages are second, accounting for 26 percent of complaints. Credit cards and credit reporting account for 13 percent and 12 percent of complaints, respectively.

As of July 1, 2015, about 1 percent of the 650,700 total complaints handled by the bureau have come from Wisconsin while about 34 percent – or 2,700 – of those complaints come from consumers in the Milwaukee area.

Of the 23,400 complaints the bureau received in June 2015, debt collection topped the list with about 32 percent, or more than 7,400 complaints. Mortgages were second, accounting for over 4,700 complaints and credit reporting was third, accounting for over 4,300 complaints. The CFPB has handled more than 163,000 debt collection complaints since it began collecting them in July 2013.

The largest source of debt collection complaints were continued attempts to collect debt not owed, with 37 percent of complaints, and communication tactics, with 20 percent of complaints.

Similar to the yearly complaint report already issued by the bureau, monthly reports will give an overview of trends and analyses found in consumer complaints. Each month, the report will include complaint data on company performance, complaint volume, state and local information, and product trends.

“Consumer complaints are the CFPB’s compass and play a central role in everything we do. They help us identify and prioritize problems for potential action,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “These monthly reports will enable us to share that data with the public more regularly, so that everyone can benefit from the information.”

Fredrikson & Byron Law