Today, we’re releasing our fourth Annual Servicemember Report. This report analyzes over 19,000 complaints we received in 2015 from servicemembers, veterans, and their families, and details related enforcement and outreach efforts.
The number of complaints we receive from the military community continues to grow; from 2014-2015, complaints increased by 13 percent. For the second year in a row, debt collection, mortgages, and credit reporting were the top three complaint categories for the military community. Debt collection—by a large margin—was the top complaint category, comprising nearly half of our military complaints.
We found that servicemembers, veterans, and their families complained about debt collection at nearly twice the rate of the general population who submitted complaints to the Bureau.
Here are some issues servicemembers reported this year:
- Identity theft problems when deployed;
- Debt collectors contacting the military chain of command;
- Debt collectors attempting to collect medical debts that VA health care, Medicare/Medicaid, or other insurance should have paid;
- Challenges receiving refunds from their lender for mortgage funding fees guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The report also describes our outreach efforts throughout the military community. We connect with thousands of military members, veterans, and their families, and dozens of different military and veteran service organizations. In addition, our report also highlights four CFPB enforcement actions that particularly impacted servicemembers and provided them with over $5 million in refunds and other relief.
View servicemember complaints
The CFPB publishes basic information about complaints in our public Consumer Complaint Database so that consumers can see and learn from other people’s experiences. With their permission, we include their description of what happened while maintaining their privacy. We’re pleased to announce that you can now view complaints which include those submitted by or on behalf of a servicemember, veteran or their family member (click on the Tags column to filter complaints by specific audiences). This makes it easier to find and read servicemember complaint narratives, view servicemember complaint data, and download and analyze the data yourself.
As always, if you have a problem with a consumer financial product or service– or if you know someone in that situation – you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372. You have the right to raise your voice and be heard by financial companies.
Take a look at the report here: Servicemembers 2015: A Year in Review.