Rich Folks Whine More About Their Mortgages

Photo (cc) by Jeffrey Beall

For consumers, the public face of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is surely its popular complaint service. The Washington Post tried to find out who uses the service most to complain about mortgages.

Here’s what the Post learned: Although poorer homebuyers have been hit hardest by foreclosures and mortgage abuses, the loudest complaints are coming from residential areas with the highest median incomes. The Post writes:

A new analysis shows that people in wealthy neighborhoods complain a lot more about all aspects of the mortgage process, from brokers to servicers to underwriters.

The CFPB doesn’t identify those who complain. But their ZIP codes are available.

Upper incomes were the squeaky wheels

The Post used consultants from Deloitte to analyze the frequency of complaints from various locations. Households in the top 25 percent of U.S. incomes generated 30 percent of complaints. The bottom 25 percent of incomes generated only 21 percent of complaints. Also, older people filed the most reports of mortgage problems.

The reasons for these differences are anyone’s guess. The bureau wouldn’t speculate. The Post offers some guesses, though:

  • Wealthy people are thought to have easier access to the Internet. (However, the bureau does take complaints by fax and phone.)
  • The rich may have more time to complain.
  • Affluent people may feel more entitled to help.

Complaints get action

“The more likely explanation is that word of the complaints database — and those of other regulators that feed into the CFPB’s — has simply penetrated further in wealthy communities,” the Post says.

You can see data on the complaints filed – about what, against whom, whether they were resolved – here, at the CFPB.

Rich or poor, you’d do well to take your complaints to the CFPB, says Laura Murray of the consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG. She explains here how to use the complaint process to your advantage. Also, CNBC wrote:

“The vast majority of complaints do get a response,” said Laura Murray, with U.S. PIRG’s Education Fund. “Approximately 1 in 3 got some sort of tangible relief.”

File your complaint

You can file a complaint online or by phone, at (855) 411-2372, even during the government shutdown, about:

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has tracked 19,000 complaints about banks from consumers since it began keeping data in March 2012 and the overwhelming majority of gripes – 78 percent — center on issues with checking accounts,” writes Pittsburgh Business Times.

The bureau says it reviews all complaints. It contacts the company you complain about and tries to get your problem resolved. It lets you know what to expect next. You can check the progress of your complaint online.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them

Rescuing a retirement from regret starts with these steps well before it’s time to quit working.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security

If you fall into one of these groups, don’t assume that you will receive benefits.

The 2 Biggest Retirement Fears of Baby Boomers
The 2 Biggest Retirement Fears of Baby Boomers

Boomers have a lot of worries as they age, but two stand out.

5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.