The CFPB has issued its November 2016 complaint report which highlights complaints about “other financial services,” a category that includes debt settlement, credit repair, check cashing, and money orders. The report also highlights complaints from consumers in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City metro area.
General findings include the following:
- As of November 1, 2016, the CFPB handled approximately 1,035,200 complaints nationally, including approximately 27,000 complaints in October 2016.
- Debt collection continued to be the most-complained-about financial product or service in October 2016, representing about 29 percent of complaints submitted. Debt collection complaints, together with complaints about credit reporting and mortgages, collectively represented about 65 percent of the complaints submitted in October 2016.
- Complaints about student loans showed the greatest percentage increase based on a three-month average, increasing about 108 percent from the same time last year (August to October 2015 compared with August to October 2016). In February 2016, the CFPB began accepting complaints about federal student loans. Previously, such complaints were directed to the Department of Education. As we have noted in blog posts about prior complaint reports issued beginning in April 2016, rather than reflecting an increase in the number of borrowers making student loan complaints, the increase most likely reflects the change in where such complaints are sent.
- Prepaid card complaints showed the greatest percentage decrease based on a three-month average, decreasing about 51 percent from the same time last year (August to October 2015 compared with August to October 2016). Complaints during those periods decreased from 417 complaints in 2015 to 205 complaints in 2016.
- Alaska, New Mexico, and Missouri experienced the greatest complaint volume increases from the same time last year (August to October 2015 compared with August to October 2016) with increases of, respectively, 53, 33, and 31 percent.
- Maine, Rhode Island, and Idaho experienced the greatest complaint volume decreases from the same time last year (August to October 2015 compared with August to October 2016) with decreases of, respectively, 19, 18, and 15 percent.
Findings regarding other financial services complaints include the following:
- The CFPB has handled approximately 4,500 other financial services complaints.
- The most common type of other financial services complaint involves debt settlement, representing 50% of all such complaints.
- A majority of complaints (51%) involved fraud or scam by debt settlement or credit repair companies as the primary issue.
- Complaints about money orders involved problems encountered by consumers when attempting to redeem money orders and delays in the error resolution process.
Findings regarding complaints from Oklahoma consumers include the following:
- As of November 1, 2016, approximately 7,700 complaints were submitted by Oklahoma consumers of which approximately 40 percent (about 3,100) were from Oklahoma City consumers.
- Debt collection was the most-complained-about product, representing 36 percent of all complaints submitted by Oklahoma consumers and, on a national basis, 27 percent of all complaints submitted by consumers.
- Average monthly complaints received from Oklahoma consumers increased 17 percent from the same time last year (August to October 2015 to August to October 2016), higher than the increase of 13 percent nationally.