The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). One of the CFPB’s responsibilities is to accept complaints from consumers about credit card companies, private student loans, mortgage companies and banking products and services.
Over the course of the last year, the CFPB has received more than 45,000 complaints from consumers and now the general public can browse those complaints via an online searchable complaint database. Database users can sort the data using a variety of categories including zip code, complaint issue, date, company and more.
When the CFPB launched the beta database, the organization also published a report on complaints filed between July 21, 2011 and June 1, 2012. Key findings from the report, Consumer Response: A Snapshot of Complaints Received (PDF) include:
- 16,840 credit card complaints were received by the CFPB during the study period
- 19,250 mortgage complaints were filed by consumers during the same time period
- 6,490 bank product complaints were received
- 1,270 private student loan complaints were filed
- 44 percent of complaints were submitted online
- 39 percent of complaints were filed after a consumer was referred to the CFPB by another agency
The agency further examined complaints by category, determining what type of complaint is most common to each industry. The most commonly filed credit card complaint dealt with billing issues. Most of the mortgage complaints received by the CFPB came from homeowners that were unable to pay their mortgage. These complaints focused on loan modification programs, credit bureau reporting and paperwork issues surrounding refinances and modifications.
Most of the general banking complaints were concentrated on opening, closing or managing bank accounts. Lastly, the most common private loan complaint issue was repayment concerns including fees, billing concerns, credit reporting issues and forbearance requests.
If you would like to file a complaint about a financial service product covered by the organization, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Submit a Complaint website.