The CFPB has issued its February 2017 complaint report that highlights credit reporting complaints. The report also highlights complaints from consumers in Louisiana and the New Orleans metro areas.
General findings include the following:
- As of February 1, 2017, the CFPB handled approximately 1,110,100 complaints nationally, including approximately 29,700 complaints in January 2017.
- Debt collection continued to be the most-complained-about financial product or service in December 2016, representing about 26 percent of complaints submitted.
- For the first time, student loans replaced mortgages in the “top three” complaint categories with debt collection complaints, together with complaints about credit reporting and student loans, collectively representing about 60 percent of the complaints submitted in January 2017. This likely reflects the increase in the number of student loan complaints received in January 2017 as compared with December 2016. Complaints about student loans showed the greatest month-over-month increase, increasing 537 percent from December 2016. Student loans also had the greatest percentage increase based on a three-month average, increasing about 388 percent from the same time last year (November 2015 to January 2016 compared with November 2016 to January 2017). 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 CFPB monthly complaint reports issued beginning in April 2016, rather than reflecting an increase in the number of borrowers making student loan complaints, the increasing percentages represented by student loan complaints received by the CFPB most likely reflects the change in where such complaints are sent.
- Payday loans showed the greatest percentage decrease based on a three-month average, decreasing about 26 percent from the same time last year (November 2015 to January 2016 compared with November 2016 to January 2017). Complaints during those periods decreased from 408 complaints in 2015/2016 to 302 complaints in 2016/2017.
- Georgia, South Dakota, and Mississippi experienced the greatest complaint volume increases from the same time last year (November 2015 to January 2016 compared with November 2016 to January 2017) with increases of, respectively, 59, 43, and 34 percent.
- Delaware, New Hampshire, and Hawaii experienced the greatest complaint volume decreases from the same time last year (November 2015 to January 2016 compared with November 2016 to January 2017) with decreases of, respectively, 8, 8, and 4 percent.
Findings regarding credit reporting complaints include the following:
- The CFPB has handled approximately 185,700 credit reporting complaints.
- The most common issues identified in complaints involved problems with incorrect information on credit reports and investigations by credit reporting companies. Consumers complained about the process for disputing information on credit reports, such as difficulties in submitting disputes through phone and mail channels, authentication questions or other barriers to submitting disputes, and problems receiving results of investigations.
- Consumers complained about the process for blocking and removing information resulting from identity theft and credit inquiries claimed not to have been initiated by the consumer.
- Many consumer complaints about credit scoring reflect confusion over the variety of scores, scoring factors that accompany credit score information, and receipt of varying scores from different reporting agencies.
Findings regarding complaints from Louisiana consumers include the following:
- As of February 1, 2017, approximately 12,400 complaints were submitted by Louisiana consumers of which approximately 4,500 were from New Orleans consumers.
- Debt collection was the most-complained-about product, representing 34 percent of all complaints submitted by Louisiana consumers, which was higher than the national average rate of 27 percent of all complaints submitted by consumers.
- Average monthly complaints received from Louisiana consumers increased 31 percent from the same time last year (November 2015 to January 2016 compared with November 2016 to January 2017), higher than the increase of 21 percent nationally.