In its most recent Consumer Response Annual Report (the “Report”), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced that for the period January 1 to December 31, 2016, the CFPB received over 290,000 complaints, a 7 percent increase from 2015. 2016 also saw the addition of two additional complaint categories: Federal Student Loan Servicing in February and Marketplace Lending in March.
Among the products and services receiving complaints in 2016, debt collection, credit reporting, and mortgages made up 193,200, or approximately 67 percent of those received. Notably, debt collection and mortgages saw only slight upticks in volume, increasing by 2,800 and 400 complaints respectively, and complaints regarding credit reporting actually decreased by 1,000.
Other complaint types showed more significant increases, including bank account or bank services (increased by 6,000), credit cards (increased by 4,400), and student loans (increased by 5,000). However, the volume of complaints regarding payday loans decreased by 1,100, though it remained at 2 percent of the overall complaints received.
The Report indicates that the vast majority of complaints that the CFPB forwarded to companies across all industries were closed with an explanation provided to the consumer by the company. For example, the Report shows that only 8 percent of the approximately 41,400 consumer complaints that the CFPB forwarded to debt collection companies were met with an untimely response, which appears to include instances where companies failed to respond altogether. Further, the Report illustrates that when companies provided a timely response, a significant majority of consumers, between 61 to 72 percent, did not further dispute the response during the feedback period.
The Report can be accessed at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201703_cfpb_Consumer-Response-Annual-Report-2016.PDF.