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CFPB: Mortgage Payment Issues a Top Complaint

House on Money BHMortgage servicing—particularly as it relates to payments—remains one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) most complained-about issues, according to the CFPB’s January Monthly Complaint Report.

The servicers that received the most complaints in January were Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Ocwen. More than 80 percent of received complaints had to do with payment issues.

“Today’s snapshot shows that consumers continue to report running into issues when making payments on their mortgages or when trying to overcome obstacles to keep themselves in their homes,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “The Bureau will continue to work to ensure that mortgage servicers give consumers the timely and effective assistance they deserve.”

The misapplication of funds is also a highly disputed issue. According to the CFPB’s report, “Consumers complained that when they paid for identified shortages in their escrow accounts, the money they paid was not applied accurately and resulted in an increase in their monthly payments.”

Many consumers also complained that e-payments were not properly credited to their loan accounts and reported issues when seeking foreclosure relief

“A frequent mortgage-related complaint from consumers had to do with problems dealing with their servicer when trying to negotiate foreclosure-relief assistance on their loans,” the CFPB report detailed. “Consumers stated that servicers were slow to respond, made repeated requests for already submitted documents, and provided ambiguous denial reasons.”

Problems with loan applications, agreements, insurance, loan processing, and credit offers also made the list of most-complained about topics.

Though this month's report shows that complaints surrounding mortgage servicing is still of concern to the CFPB, the silver lining comes when you look at the report in relation to previous months.

"As reported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mortgage related complaints against Ocwen have declined in every report since January 2016. In the most recent report, complaints declined by 34 percent, the second largest percentage decrease of any mortgage company year-over-year basis," said John Lovallo, a representative for the company.

As a special servicer Ocwen's portfolio is made up of a higher percentage of delinquencies as Ocwen's role in the mortgage market is to serve consumers that do not have a place at larger banks. Since January 2008, Ocwen has completed more than 720,000 loan modifications for their customers.

“In 2015, Ocwen put in place an enterprise-wide initiative to instill in all our employees the core values required to achieve the highest level of customer service and satisfaction. Since then, we have significantly improved customer service for all of our borrowers, including the many customers who are not current on their loans due to their financial circumstances," Lovallo commented.

To view the CFPB’s Monthly Complaint Report for January, visit ConsumerFinance.gov.

About Author: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for various newspapers, magazines, and publications across the nation, including The Dallas Morning News and Addison Magazine. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.

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