The CFPB has issued its May 2016 complaint report which highlights complaints about credit reporting and complaints from consumers in New Mexico and the Albuquerque metro area. The CFPB began taking complaints about credit reporting in October 2012. Credit reporting complaints were also the subject of the CFPB’s August 2015 monthly report.
General findings include the following:
- As of May 1, 2016, the CFPB handled approximately 882,800 complaints nationally, including approximately 23,900 complaints in April 2016. As of May 1, 2016, debt collection continued to be the most-complained-about financial product or service, representing about 27 percent of complaints submitted. Debt collection complaints, together with complaints about credit reporting and mortgages, collectively represented about 68 percent of the complaints submitted in April 2016.
- Complaints about student loans showed the greatest percentage increase based on a three-month average, increasing about 48 percent from the same time last year (February to April 2015 compared with February to April 2016). As we noted in our blog post about the April 2016 complaint report, rather than reflecting an increase in the number of borrowers making student loan complaints, the increase most likely reflects that in February 2016, the CFPB began accepting complaints about federal student loans. Previously, such complaints were directed to the Department of Education.
- Payday loan complaints showed the greatest percentage decrease based on a three-month average, decreasing about 14 percent from the same time last year (February to April 2015 compared with February to April 2016). Complaints during those periods decreased from 498 complaints in 2015 to 406 complaints in 2016. In the March and April 2016 complaint reports, payday loan complaints also showed the greatest percentage decrease based on a three-month average.
- New Mexico, Minnesota, and Indiana experienced the greatest complaint volume increases from the same time last year (February to April 2015 compared with February to April 2016) with increases of, respectively, 41, 33, and 26 percent.
- Vermont, Hawaii, and Maine experienced the greatest complaint volume decreases from the same time last year (February to April 2015 compared with February to April 2016) with decreases of, respectively, 20, 19, and 14 percent.
Findings regarding credit reporting complaints include the following:
- The CFPB has handled approximately 143,700 credit reporting complaints, representing about 16 percent of total complaints. Credit reporting is the third most-complained-about product or service after debt collection and mortgages.
- The most-complained-about issue involved incorrect information on credit reports, such as a debt appearing on the report that has been paid or is too old to be enforced in court (which the CFPB suggests “may reflect confusion about the fact that information on past overdue debt, even when paid, or no longer enforceable as a result of limitations often can remain on a credit report.”) Other complaints involved a debt belonging to another consumer, a debt that is not recognized by the consumer, delays and problems in updating and correcting inaccurate records, and public records being incorrectly matched to a consumer’s credit report.
- Problems accessing credit reports because of the consumer’s inability to answer identity authentication questions were also raised in complaints.
- In addition to complaints about the “big three” credit reporting companies, consumer submitted more than 2,000 complaints about specialty consumer reporting companies. Problems raised by consumers submitting complaints about specialty consumer reporting companies included difficulty resolving inaccuracies, information about other consumers appearing on reports, unfair or inaccurate information in reports used for rental screening, inaccurate reporting of criminal charges or convictions on reports used for background and employment screening, and identity theft.
Findings regarding complaints from New Mexico consumers include the following:
- As of May 1, 2016, approximately 4,700 complaints were submitted by New Mexico consumers of which approximately 48 percent (2,200) were from consumers in the Albuquerque metro area.
- Debt collection is the most-complained-about product, representing 31 percent of the complaints submitted by New Mexico consumers and 27 percent of complaints submitted by consumers nationally.
- The percentage of mortgage complaints submitted by New Mexico consumers was lower than the national average.