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What’s in the Complaint Box?

Every month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau releases a consumer complaint report about financial services and provides a regular update on the most prominent problems consumers face.

As of June 1, more than 1.2 million total complaints have been received and handled by the agency since 2011, according to the report.

To put that number into perspective, the report provides a national overview, a state-level overview, and highlights narratives submitted by consumers regarding their experience with the CFPB’s complaint process.

“The Bureau’s ability to receive and process consumer complaints enables us to hear directly from people about their concerns and helps us prioritize our work to protect others against similar problems,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This report provides valuable information to the CFPB and the public about issues and trends we are seeing from each state.”

Nationwide, debt collection and mortgage-related complaints make up 50 percent of the complaints received.

Debt collection remains the most complained about product or service, CFPB noted, with approximately 316,810 total complaints to date, or 27 percent by volume, since the Bureau began accepting debt collection complaints in July 2013.

CFPB reported that since it began taking mortgage complaints in December 2011, approximately 272,153 mortgage-related complaints have been received. Making this product the second highest of complaints by volume at 23 percent. Complaints include problems about consumers’ experiences dealing with their servicer when they are struggling to make payments.

Credit reporting, credit cards, and bank account or service make up the rest of the top five products or services the Bureau receives the most complaints about.

When consumers submit a complaint, they have the option to share publicly their explanation of what happened. The monthly report spotlights that over 50 percent of the complaint narratives, or detailed consumer descriptions of problems experienced, have been published since 2015.

CFPB accepting consumer complaints not only helps consumers express themselves, but it also helps companies adjust to their consumer needs. The data shows a 7 percent increase in complaints handled, and 97 percent of companies have timely responses to complaints since 2011.

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