The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau maintains America’s official repository for gripes about financial products.
The subject of the most complaints? It’s not student loans, payday loans or prepaid cards.
It’s mortgages, according to an analysis of the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database released this week by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
The CFPB’s public database accepts complaints about 11 types of financial products.
While debt collection became the top complaint on a monthly basis earlier this year, mortgages have generated the most complaints since December 2011 — more than 138,000 complaints, or 38 percent of all gripes.
Mike Litt, a consumer program advocate with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, says in a press release:
“Before the CFPB was created, victims of mortgage errors like misapplied payments and incorrect late fees were at the mercy of the banks. Now, we have a cop on the beat.”
In 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Bank of America has been complained about more than any other institution when it comes to mortgages.
In the remaining five states, Wells Fargo has that distinction, according to the U.S. PIRG.
The two most common types of mortgage complaints relate to:
- Problems when consumers are unable to pay. These are categorized in the database as “loan modification, collection, foreclosure,” and they make up 55 percent of mortgage complaints.
- Problems making payments. These are categorized as “loan servicing, payments and escrow account,” and they make up 30 percent of mortgage complaints.
In other news, Bank of America is also making headlines this week on reports that it has aggressively scaled back over the past two years by eliminating hundreds of branches and tens of thousands of jobs. CNN Money says that the downsizing is only partly due to an effort to cut costs:
It’s also the bank’s way to help make up for its gigantic legal costs as it continues to fights a litany of lawsuits related to shoddy mortgages prior to the financial crisis.
Are you surprised by which financial institutions inspire the most mortgage-related complaints? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.