The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released the fifth annual Ombudsman’s Office Report, presented to CFPB Director Richard Cordray. This report details the CFPB’s activities during the 2016 fiscal year.
In this report, the Ombudsman provides information on the consumer complaint process which includes complaints on financial products. The Ombudsman says that much like years past, mortgages were the financial product “most commonly underpinning consumer complaint related inquiries to the Ombudsman.” Specifically, mortgages represented 41 percent of the total financial products complaints.
Further, the report found that mortgage made up 18 percent of consumer complaints sent to the CFPB with 30 percent of that number representing debt collection complaints.
The Ombudsman also reported that in 2016, issues had been identified with the ability to research mortgage-related complaints.
“For mortgages and checking accounts, each product has five issue categories and no ability to select a sub-issue,” says the report. “Therefore, someone researching mortgage-related complaints in the Database is not easily able to compile data on complaints solely about loan modifications or foreclosures because the complaint form categorizes these sub-issues together, while someone researching credit card-related complaints can analyze specific issues with the data provided.”
According to the report, this is not the only database issue being addressed. The Ombudsman also states that changes to the definition of the public responses have been made to accurately reflect what the Consumer Response receives in individual consumer complaints.
“Specifically, the category for when a company does not provide a public response now states the “[c]ompany has responded to the consumer and the CFPB and chooses not to provide a public response” rather than the previous “[c]ompany chooses not to provide a public response.”
In looking to the next fiscal year, the report adds that the Ombudsman’s Office plans to “continue to assist on individual inquiries that consumers, financial entities, consumer groups, trade groups, and others have regarding their CFPB interactions.”