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Mortgages Still High on CFPB’s Complaint List

ChecklistThe fourth volume of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) monthly complaint snapshot released Tuesday focused on one of its top three most complained-about financial product: mortgages.

In September 2015, the Bureau received 23,400 complaints, and 4,747 of these were mortgage-related complaints, making it the third most complained-about category this month. Last September, mortgage complaints totaled 4,291.

On a positive note, the CFPB reported that overall complaints declined 9 percent month-over-month, while mortgage complaints fell 7 percent from the prior month. 

"Debt collection, credit reporting, and mortgage complaints continue to be the top three most-complained-about consumer financial products and services, collectively representing about 70 percent of complaints submitted in September 2015," the report stated.

The CFPB began accepting complaints from consumers about financial products shortly after opening its doors in July 2011. As of October 1, 2015, the Bureau had received 725,951 complaints in slightly more than four years, and about 197,653 of those complaints have been about mortgages, making it the overall the most complained-about category. 

The mortgage market is the largest consumer financial marketplace in the country with more than $10 trillion in total value. The CFPB enacted new mortgage rules in 2014 to ensure strong consumer protections and also ensure that lenders offered affordable mortgages to consumers.

"Despite strong protections that have been put in place to protect homeowners, this month’s complaint report shows consumers are still having problems when dealing with their mortgages," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. "The Bureau will continue to work to make sure that consumers are being treated fairly on their mortgage issues."

From July 2015 to September 2015, Idaho, Nebraska, and Arkansas experienced the greatest complaint volume changes at 59 percent, 44 percent, and 43 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Delaware, Alaska, and New Mexico saw their complaint decline 10 percent, 9 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.

According to the report, nearly all complaints for Ocwen and Nationstar are for mortgage-related matters among consumers, which received 433 and 364 complaints, respectively.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase also had a significant share of mortgage complaints. Citibank and Capital One had very few mortgage complaints.

In its report, the CFPB also highlighted that the Chicago metro area is experiencing a heavy volume of complaints from consumers that are facing mortgage issues.

In this area, mortgages are the most-complained about product, with 27 percent of the 21,100 complaints submitted by consumers being mortgage-related.

Click here to view the full report.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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