Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Mortgages Top CFPB Complaint List

Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began publishing summary data about consumer complaints in an online database. At first, the database only included details about credit card complaints. But, a few days ago, the bureau updated the database to include complaints on all categories taking the number of complaints from 19,000 to over 90,000. Consumers can view the complaints, create filters and reports on the data by going to

Financial Products With the Most Complaints

Mortgage complaints account for 55% of complaints. Almost 60% of mortgage complaints pertain to loan modification, collection, and foreclosure. Most of these were closed with some type of explanation. Another 25% of mortgage complaints were related to loan servicing, payments, and escrow accounts. One-fifth of consumers disputed the resolution to their complaint. (The bureau started taking mortgage complaints three months sooner than complaints on bank services, private student loans, and consumer loans.)

Credit card complaints accounted for 21% of complaints and 17% of complaints were related to bank accounts or bank services. Consumer loans and student loans make up a combined 7% of total complaints.

Financial Institutions With the Most Complaints

Bank of America received the most complaints, considering all categories, with Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase in 2nd the 3rd place. These three big banks count for 48% of the complaints. Of course, these companies could top the complaint list because of their size and number of customers. In other words, bigger companies with more customers could be more likely to have higher numbers of complaints.

Most of Bank of America’s complaints are mortgage-related. No surprise there since mortgage complaints make up the majority of complaints overall. One-third of all mortgage complaints are against Bank of America.

Data Disclaimer

The CFPB disclaims the data in the database saying that they haven’t verified the facts of the data (the complaints may not necessarily be legitimate). They’ve only confirmed that there was indeed a relationship between the complaining consumer and the company. Beyond a zip code, there is no other personal consumer information in the database.

Submitting Your Own Complaints

The CFPB takes complaints on seven types of financial products: mortgages, credit cards, credit reporting, money transfers, bank accounts and bank services, student loans, and vehicle or consumer loans. The bureau doesn’t force a company to give you the resolution you’re looking for; rather it facilitates a response from the company. With enough complaints about a certain company or product, the CFPB may file a lawsuit against the company or write a new rule or regulation to stop or improve certain practices. For example, last year, the CFPB filed lawsuit against several large credit card issuers for deceptive marketing practices regarding add-on services like credit monitoring and payment protection. The companies were required to refund some of the fees to consumers.

If you have a complaint about a bank or financial product, you can submit to the CFPB online at Remember that it’s typically better to try to resolve the issue with your financial institution first. Then, if you don’t get a response or you believe the company is not complying with the law, you should complain to the CFPB and your state Attorney General.

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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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