WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a special edition of its monthly complaint report, providing a snapshot of consumer complaints submitted across the country. For each state and the District of Columbia, the report provides statistics on complaint volume, the products and services generating the most complaints, company response rates, and a look at complaints from servicemembers and older Americans. The report also gives a national overview and spotlights narratives submitted by consumers regarding their experience with the CFPB’s complaint process. Overall, the Bureau has received over 1,218,600 complaints as of June 1, 2017.
“The Bureau’s ability to receive and process consumer complaints enables us to hear directly from people about their concerns and helps us prioritize our work to protect others against similar problems,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This report provides valuable information to the CFPB and the public about issues and trends we are seeing from each state.”
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the CFPB, established consumer complaint handling as an integral part of the CFPB’s work. The CFPB began accepting complaints as soon as it opened its doors in July 2011. It currently accepts complaints on many consumer financial products, including credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, student loans, vehicle and other consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection, and payday loans.
Today’s snapshot is a special edition of the monthly complaint report that the CFPB puts out every month. First published in July 2015, the monthly complaint report provides a regular update on the problems consumers face. Monthly complaint reports include a national overview, a product spotlight, and a closer look at the complaints in one state. This special edition report takes a different approach with new national statistics that are also calculated for each state and the District of Columbia. Some of the national takeaways include:
- Complaint volume rose 7 percent between 2015 and 2016: The Bureau has continued to see a growth in the volume of complaints submitted by consumers. In 2015 the CFPB received 271,600 complaints; this figure grew to 291,400 complaints received in 2016.
- Companies provided a timely response to 97 percent of complaints they received from the CFPB: The CFPB considers a response to be timely if the company responds within 15 days. Since the Bureau began accepting complaints in July 2011, companies have provided timely responses 97 percent of the time.
- Over half of consumers submitting complaints opt to have their narrative published: In July 2015, the Bureau began publishing detailed consumer descriptions of problems they had experienced with a financial product or service. Since the CFPB began to enable consumers to share their experiences publicly, 52 percent of the consumers who submitted complaints directly to the Bureau have opted to share their narrative descriptions of what happened. The narratives, which are scrubbed of consumer’s personal information, can help consumers learn from problems that others experience. The narratives also serve to help encourage companies to improve the overall quality of their products and services and more vigorously compete over good customer service.
- Debt collection and mortgage complaints account for half of complaints submitted: Debt collection and mortgage-related complaints account for 50 percent of the roughly 1.2 million complaints the Bureau has received. Though the Bureau only began accepting debt collection complaints in July 2013, debt collection has been the most complained about product or service, with approximately 316,810 complaints to date. These complaints, which represent 27 percent of the overall volume, include complaints about attempts to collect on debts not owed by consumers and repeated and harassing calls from collectors. The Bureau began taking mortgage complaints in December 2011, and to date has received approximately 272,153 mortgage-related complaints. These complaints, which represent 23 percent of the total volume, include complaints about problems consumers experience dealing with their servicer when they are struggling to make payments.
This special edition monthly complaint report supplements the statistics and trends seen on the national level with an analysis of complaints coming from each state and the District of Columbia. While each monthly complaint report contains state-level data, this month’s report expands upon that information. For each state and the District of Columbia, it provides details on total complaints received, number of complaints from specialty populations, changes in volume of complaints submitted, and company response statistics, as well as information about specific products and services consumers have complained about.
In June 2012, the CFPB launched its Consumer Complaint Database, which is the nation’s largest public collection of consumer financial complaints. When consumers submit a complaint they have the option to share publicly their explanation of what happened. For more individual-level complaint data and to read consumers' experiences, visit the Consumer Complaint Database at: www.consumerfinance.gov/complaintdatabase/.
To submit a complaint, consumers can:
- Go online at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
- Call the toll-free phone number at 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or TTY/TDD phone number at 1-855-729-CFPB (2372)
- Fax the CFPB at 1-855-237-2392
- Mail a letter to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 2900, Clinton, Iowa 52733
- Additionally, through “Ask CFPB,” consumers can get clear, unbiased answers to their questions at consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb or by calling 1-855-411-CFPB (2372).
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.