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WBK Industry News - Federal Regulatory Developments

CFPB Issues Report on Servicemember Complaints

A CFPB report titled Servicemembers 2015: A year in Review, released on March 22, 2016, highlighted high rates of debt collection complaints from Servicemembers and their families.

Servicemembers have submitted debt collection complaints at nearly twice the rate of non-military consumers.  Enforcement actions that have returned over $5 million to servicemembers and their families in 2015 are also contained in the report.

Of the debt collection complaints submitted by servicemembers nearly half involved attempts to collect debts that the servicemembers believe are not owed. Servicemembers also complained about debt collectors contacting their commanding officers and threatening their security clearance. Another frequent complaint from veterans was that debt collectors attempted to collect debts on medical bills that should have been covered through their VA health insurance.

Approximately 2,800 complaints related to mortgages. A large number of mortgage complaints involved servicemembers being unable to make payments, such as problems with loan modifications, collections, and foreclosures. Service members continue to experience servicing issues because of relocation in conjunction with permanent change of duty station challenges.

Finally, the report indicated that approximately 2,200 credit reporting complaints were submitted by servicemembers 2015. Seventy-two of these complaints were related to incorrect information on credit reports.