The CFPB has issued its annual Consumer Response Report that provides an analysis of the approximately 291,400 complaints handled by the CFPB between January 1 and December 31, 2016.  According to the report, complaint volume rose 7% from 271,600 complaints in 2015 to 291,400 in 2016. The report provides data on the most common types of complaints for each product, the handling of complaints, and median monetary relief.   

Of the 291,400 complaints received in 2016, approximately 73% 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 (88,000), credit reporting (54,000), and mortgages (51,200) accounted for 67% of all 2016 complaints.  97% of complaints sent to companies received timely responses.  

41% of debt collection complaints involved continued attempts to collect debts not owed, 20% involved debt validation (such as not receiving enough information to verify the debt), 15% involved communication tactics, 9% involved false statements or representations, 9% involved taking or threatening illegal action, and 6% involved improper contact or sharing of information.  For credit reporting complaints, 74 % involved incorrect information on credit reports and 11% involved the credit reporting company’s investigation.  For mortgage complaints, 40% involved making payments (such as issues involving servicing, posting of payments, and escrow accounts), 38% involved problems relating to inability to pay (such as issues involving loan modifications, collections, or foreclosures), and 10% involved applying for a loan. 

The report contains monetary relief information for companies that reported relief amounts.  The median amount of relief reported included $316 for 360 debt collection complaints, $29 for 150 credit reporting complaints, $500 for 1,190 mortgage complaints, $108 for 4,060 bank account and services complaints, $105 for 4,250 credit card complaints, $200 for 530 consumer loan complaints, $245 for 250 student loan complaints, $375 for 60 payday loan complaint, and $200 for 270 prepaid 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.)