Recently the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau released a special edition of its monthly complaint report that provided a unique look at the way the Bureau compiles national data on the complaints it receives.
Since July 2015, the CFPB has released monthly reports that summarize the complaints it collects on consumer financial products including credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, student loans, vehicle and other consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection and payday loans.
This special snapshot, however, provides some interesting insights into how the complaints in each state figure into national statistics. Highlights include:
- A 7 percent rise in complaint volume between 2015 and 2016.
- Companies have provided timely responses to 97 percent of complaints filed with the Bureau since July 2011. A “timely response” is defined as a response within 15 days.
- 52 percent of consumers who file complaints opt to have their complaints published. Consumers can opt to publish the narratives of their complaints so they can share their experiences with other consumers—thereby encouraging institutions to resolve complaints quickly.
- Debt collection and mortgage complaints account for 50 percent of the approximately 1.2 million complaints the Bureau has collected. 316,810 complaints have been collected regarding debt collection since the Bureau began accepting this information in July 2013. Approximately 272, 153 mortgage complaints have been filed since December 2011.
Complaints by state
Also of note is the variability of complaints by state. For instance, California, Florida and Texas topped the list with the most complaints. This may not be surprising considering these are also the most populous states; however the number of complaints made in each state don’t necessarily correlate with population.
Florida and New York, for example, are similarly populated with 20 million and 19 million residents, respectively. Yet Floridians submitted 66% more complaints that New Yorkers, giving them a greater share of the average complaints nationwide.
Additionally, the types of complaints made across states varied widely. Debt collection is the top complaint averaged nationally and is the top complaint in 40 out of 50 states.
In contrast, credit cards have the greatest variability across complaints. Of the five types of complaints tracked by the Bureau (debt collection, mortgages, credit reporting, bank account servicing and credit cards), credit cards rank among the second-most prevalent complaint in 13 states but ranked second-to-least most complained about in three states.
Interested in learning more about how the CFPB is compiling data in your state?
Take a look at the complete report here, and feel free to give Preiss&Associates a call to talk more.