Mortgages Drive CFPB’s 80% Complaint Growth in 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) saw an 80% growth in its consumer complaint database in 2013, with mortgage-related grievances at the top of the list.

Last year, CFPB’s consumer complaint volume nearly doubled from 91,000 complaints in 2012 to 163,700 in 2013, according to the CFPB’s Consumer Response Annual Report

Mortgages were the most complained about consumer product in 2013, accounting for 37% of overall complaints, according to CFPB’s findings. 

Mortgage-related complaints totaled 59,900, with consumers most concerned with problems when they were unable to pay, such as issues relating to loan modifications, collections or foreclosures.

Reverse mortgages only accounted for 1% of total mortgage-related complaints, whereas 29% of complaints were for conventional fixed mortgages and 45% represented “other mortgage.”

Complaints regarding making payments, including loan servicing and escrow accounts, accounted for 26% of types of complaints, whereas application, originator and mortgage broker-related gripes represented 8%. 

“Consumers with successfully completed loan modifications have complained that some servicers do not amend derogatory credit reporting accrued by consumers during trial periods—even when documents provided to the consumers by servicers indicated that they would do so,” CFPB writes in the report.

Other notable areas of concern for consumers regarded debt collection at 19% of total complaints in 2013, credit reporting at 15%, bank account and service at 12% and credit card complaints at 10%.

Initially, when the Bureau opened its doors in 2011 it only accepted consumer complaints about credit cards, but has since then expanded its complaint handling to include mortgages, bank accounts and services, student loans, credit reporting, vehicle and other consumer loans. 

“Consumer complaints have become central to the work of this agency. They enable us to listen to, and amplify, the concerns of any American who wants to be heard,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement. “They are also our compass. They make a difference by informing our work and helping us identify and prioritize problems for potential action.”

View the CFPB report

Written by Jason Oliva

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