The latest monthly complaint snapshot from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlights customer issues with credit cards. The report also features complaints submitted by consumers in the Chicago area.
Consumers’ most frequent credit card-related complaints were about incurring late fees and credit report problems due to confusing payment processing schedules and difficulty disputing bill inaccuracies. Sixteen percent of complaints centered on problems making payments, including confusion over how late fees were assessed and how to resolve billing disputes.
Seven percent of complaints were about accounts being closed by credit card companies without advance warning. In most cases, companies attributed account closure to suspected fraud, although consumers said they were often not informed of the potential fraud before their cards were deactivated.
Since it began accepting complaints about credit cards when it was created in July 2011, the bureau has handled approximately 80,000 credit card-related complaints, about 11 percent of total complaints. As of the beginning of the year, Americans had more than $700 billion in credit card debt.
The CFPB has handled a little over 20,000 complaints from the Chicago area since its inception; a little over a quarter of those dealt with mortgages. Echoing national trends, debt collection and credit reporting are the second and third most-complained-about financial products in the Chicago metro area.
The first installment, in July, featured complaints from Milwaukee consumers and complaints about debt collection. The second installment featured complaints from Los Angeles and complaints about credit reporting. The third featured complaints from Denver and about mortgages.
“Credit cards are an important financial tool for over half of the adults in this country,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “It is important for consumers to be able to control how their payments are applied and to have clear information about their rights as cardholders. The Bureau will continue to work to protect people as they are using credit cards.”