CFPB says nearly 80,000 consumer complaints filed

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has handled nearly 80,000 consumer complaints since the Bureau opened on July 21, 2011.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has handled nearly 80,000 consumer complaints since the Bureau opened on July 21, 2011. The CFPB issued a seven-page report on Oct. 10 outlining its complaint-handling activity through Sept. 30, 2012.

From July 21, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012, the CFPB received approximately 79,200 consumer complaints, including 23,400 credit card complaints, 36,300 mortgage complaints, 12,900 bank accounts and services complaints, and 2,900 private student loan complaints. About 45 percent of the complaints were submitted through the Bureau’s web site, with the remainder coming through phone calls and referrals from other regulatory agencies.

Some 65,100 of the complaints were sent back to the company in question for resolution and 94 percent of those received responses. Of those responses, consumers viewed the situation resolved in 79 percent of the cases.

The CFPB’s Consumer Response team has ramped up gradually. Initially it only accepted complaints related to credit cards. Starting Dec. 1, 2011, is began accepting complaints related to mortgages, and on March 1, 2012, it began accepting complaints related to bank accounts and services, private student loans and other consumer loans.  The CFPB launched its public Consumer Complaint Database on June 19, 2012. Over the next year, the CFPB expects to handle consumer complaints on all products and services under its authority.

The CFPB says it uses consumer complaints to inform its efforts to make prices and risks clearer, protect consumers and encourage financial markets to operate more fairly and competitively.

In the arena of credit card complaints, the CFPB said billing disputes were at the core of most complaints. Some consumers are confused and frustrated by the process and limits of challenging inaccuracies on their monthly credit card billing statements, the CFPB says.

The most common type of mortgage complaint is about problems consumers have when they are unable to pay, such as issues related to loan modifications, collection or foreclosure, the CFPB said.

The most common type of bank account and service complaints related to opening, closing or managing accounts, typically things such as confusing marketing, denials, fees, statements, and joint accounts. Other common complaints related to transaction holds, unauthorized transactions, and problems caused by the consumer’s funds being low.

The most common type of private student loan complaint is about repaying the loan, typically in areas such as fees, billing, deferment, forbearance, fraud and credit reporting.

Read the report by clicking here.

Fredrikson & Byron Law