Payday Loan Complaints Decline 14%: CFPB
Those three issues represented 69% of the complaints filed in March, the agency reported.
Ironically, complaints about payday loans showed the largest decrease from January to March 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015 – a 14% decrease. That drop in complaints coincides with the agency’s preparations to issue regulations governing payday lenders in an effort to crack down on abuse.
In March, consumers submitted 8,243 debt collection complaints to the bureau – more than 30% of the complaints for that month.
The greatest increase in consumer complaints involved “other financial services,” which includes check cashing, credit repair, debt settlement, foreign exchange services, travelers’ checks, tax refund anticipation checks and money order providers. That umbrella group of services saw a 53% increase from January to March, compared to the same time period last year.
Using average monthly complaint volume, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion were the most complained about companies between November 2015 and January 2016.
In this month’s report, the agency also highlighted mortgage issues. Since July 21, 2011, the agency has handled about 223,100 mortgage complaints – the second most often complained about service, following debt collection.
“Today’s report shows that consumers are still running into too many dead ends and obstacles in resolving issues with their mortgage servicer,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “The bureau will continue to press to make sure that people can get the right information and the timely help they need.”
The majority of complaints about mortgages – some 51% – involved problems consumers had when they faced difficulties making payments. Many of the complaints addressed difficulties consumers had communicating with their loan servicer.
Consumers complained about long mitigation review processes in which their servicers repeatedly requested the same information. Consumers also reported receiving conflicting and confusing foreclosure notifications during the loss mitigation review process.
Consumers also complained about a lack of information when their loan was transferred to another servicer – a problem that resulted in payments not being applied to their account.
The four companies about which the CFPB received the most mortgage-related complaints between November 2015 and January 2016 were Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Ocwen and Nationstar Mortgage.
The bureau also took a snapshot of complaints from California consumers and reported that while mortgage complaints accounted for 26% of nationwide complaints, they totaled 32% in California.