The CFPB highlighted mortgage complaints in its Monthly Complaint Report for January 2017. The report also highlights complaint trends from Tennessee and an overview of complaints on a nationwide level.
According to the report, the CFPB has handled approximately 1,080,700 consumer complaints across all products nationwide as of January 1, 2017. Of those complaints, approximately 260,500 of those were mortgage-related. This makes mortgages the second-most complained about product.
The report spotlights some of the most common reasons behind consumer complaints related to mortgages:
- Over 80% of all mortgage-related complaints submitted to the CFPB had to do with issues consumers experience when making payments, or when they were unable to pay their mortgage.
- Consumers frequently complained that their payments were not applied accurately. For example, electronic monthly mortgage payments made via bill pay services through their financial institutions were not properly credited.
- Consumers often reported having issues when dealing with their loan servicer as they tried to negotiate foreclosure-relief assistance. For example, consumers complained that servicers were slow to respond, made repeated requests for already-submitted documents, and provided ambiguous denial reasons. Last month, the CFPB and CitiMortgage entered into a consent order to resolve similar issues.
The report also highlights the most-complained-about companies, noting that the top 24 most-complained-about companies received approximately 80% of all mortgage complaints from August to October 2016. The three companies that the CFPB has received the most average monthly complaints about were Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Ocwen. The bureau noted that company size and/or market share should be taken into context.
Other general findings in the report include the following:
- Debt collection, credit reporting and mortgages continue to be the three most complained-about consumer financial products and services. In December 2016, those products collectively representing 65% of complaints submitted.
- Debt collection was the most-complained-about financial product or service in December 2016. Debt collection-related complaints accounted for approximately 31% of all complaints submitted to the Bureau.
- Debt collection was also the most-complained-about product in Tennessee. Approximately 34% of all complaints submitted by Tennessee consumers were related to debt collection practices.
- In terms of complaint volume by product, prepaid complaints showed the greatest month-over-month percentage increase (12%). Payday loan complaints, on the other hand, showed the greatest month-over-month percentage decrease (23%).
- Student loan complaints showed the greatest percentage increase from October through December 2015 (497 complaints) compared to October through December 2016 (1,040 complaints). The report acknowledges that this year-to-year increase can partly be attributed to the CFPB beginning to accept complaints about federal student loans in February 2016.
- Alaska, Georgia, and Louisiana experienced the greatest complaint volume increases from the same time last year (October to December 2015 compared with October to December 2016) with increases of, respectively, 357%, 46%, and 32%.
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