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WBK Industry News - Federal Regulatory Developments

CFPB Issues Annual Complaint Report

The CFPB recently published its Consumer Response Annual Report (Report) that analyzes complaints handled by the Bureau in 2015.  The Report shows a year-over-year increase in complaint volume, rising from 250,700 in 2014 to 271,600 in 2015.  Consumer complaint information available to the public can be found in the Consumer Complaint Database, launched in June of 2012.  The database was initially for credit card complaints, but over the years, it has been expanded to include mortgage, credit reporting, debt collection, payday loan, prepaid card, consumer complaint narratives and optional company public responses.  And in February of 2016, tags were added to identify complaints submitted by older Americans and service members.

In 2015, approximately 71% of all consumer complaints were received via the CFPB’s website, while the remainder were received via telephone calls, referrals, mail, email and fax.  Data identifying the most common types of complaints by category, the handling of complaints and median monetary relief is also contained in the Report.  Categories include: debt collection, credit reporting, mortgage, bank account and service, credit card, consumer loan, student loan, payday loan, prepaid cards, money transfer and “Other financial services”.   Complaints about debt collection in 2014 and 2015 topped the list, but complaints of this nature were slightly lower in 2015.  Complaints regarding credit reporting showed the largest increase in 2015 over 2014.

The Report provides details regarding the types of complaints received in each category in a tabular format with a narrative describing the most common complaint types for each of those categories.

Finally, in the section describing how companies respond to consumer complaints, there is information regarding each of the response category options available to companies.  Companies have responded to approximately 95% of complaints sent to them in 2015 with 91% of the complaints reported as being closed.  Companies have the option to report an amount of monetary relief where applicable and the results are disclosed in tabular format by category.