The CFPB’s Consumer Response Annual Report analyzing complaints handled in 2015 indicates that volume rose 8% from 250,700 complaints in 2014 to 271,600 in 2015.
The report provides data on the most common types of complaints for each product, the handling of complaints, and median monetary relief. Of the 271,600 complaints received in 2015, approximately 71% were received through the CFPB’s website, 7% via telephone calls, 12% via referrals from other agencies and regulators, and the balance via mail, e-mail and fax. Based on the CFPB’s breakdown of the number of complaints received in each category, debt collection (85,200), credit reporting (55,000), and mortgages (50,800) accounted for 70% of all 2015 complaints. Credit reporting complaints had the largest increase from 2014 (when the number of complaints received was 44,800).
While in both 2014 and 2015 the CFPB received the most complaints about debt collection, it received fewer debt collection complaints in 2015 (85,200) than it did in 2014 (88,300). 40% of the debt collection complaints involved continued attempts to collect debts not owed (with many complaints not challenging the underlying debt but asserting that the calculation of the amount sought was inaccurate or unfair), 18% involved communication tactics, 15% involved debt validation (such as not receiving enough information to verify the debt), and 11% involved taking or threatening illegal action. For credit reporting complaints, 79% involved incorrect information on credit reports. For mortgage complaints, 43% involved problems relating to inability to pay (such as issues involving loan modifications, collections, or foreclosures) and 37% involved making payments (such as issues involving servicing, posting of payments, and escrow accounts).
The report contains monetary relief information for companies that reported relief amounts. The median amount of relief reported included $317 for 400 debt collection complaints, $23 for 170 credit reporting complaints, $500 for 1,240 mortgage complaints, $105 for 3,170 bank account and services complaints, $100 for 3,290 credit card complaints, $263 for consumer loan complaints, $173 for 240 student loan complaints, and $347 for 80 payday loan complaints. (Companies have the option to report an amount of monetary relief. As a result, the total number of complaints receiving monetary relief is greater than the number of complaints on which the median relief amounts are based.)