Today, we’re releasing our third Snapshot of Complaints Received from Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families. The report details the data and trends from consumer complaints we’ve received from members of the military community since July 2011.
Here are just a few highlights:
- Debt collection complaints have continued to rise since our last report, and now make up 39 percent of total complaints. It is our largest category of complaints from the military community.
- Credit reporting remains a top category of concern. 72 percent of these complaints are about incorrect information on credit reports. This remains a significant issue for the military community, one that we highlighted earlier this year.
- Student loans are another concern. 49 percent of these complaints are about problems dealing with a lender or servicer. In these complaints, we continue to see long-standing trends, such as servicemembers complaining about not being provided their Servicemembers Civil Relief Act rights.
This year our report also highlights our outreach efforts that allowed us to connect with thousands of members of the military community, as well as three of our enforcement actions that recovered millions of dollars for affected consumers, primarily servicemembers, veterans, and their families. These figures represent the positive impact of the work we continue to do on behalf of those who serve.
Problems with account services
Basic account servicing stands out as a significant area of concern for servicemembers. Most consumers can call their financial institution, visit a branch, or connect online to try and get the help they need to maintain their account. Unfortunately, for military personnel and their families, the realities of military life, including deployments, frequent moves, and a high operational tempo, can sometimes make access to those services extremely challenging.
We found that servicemembers were often subject to a variety of account maintenance or penalty fees, as well as account-access restrictions, which were triggered due to aspects of their military service.
These problems raise concerns that financial institutions may not have a true understanding of the servicing needs of their military customers and may lack proper procedures and protections for them. Detailed examples of servicemember experiences can be found in Section II of the report.
As always, if you have a problem with a consumer financial product that you can’t resolve on your own; or if you know someone in that situation, please remember that you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372. We make your voice heard.