What We Know

CFPB Monthly Report Returns its Focus to Credit Reporting

March 22, 2017 | by Caren D. Enloe

The CFPB issued its monthly report on consumer complaints this month, providing a high-level snapshot of the recent trends in consumer complaints. The Report provides a summary of the volume of complaints by product category and type, by company, and by state. This month’s report highlights credit reporting which was last featured May 2016. Following are the highlights of this month’s report:

Complaint Volume by Product

  • In a startling change from prior months, the three products yielding the highest complaint volume in January 2017 were debt collection, student loan, and credit reporting. January 2017 is the first month where mortgage complaints slipped out of the top three. Student loan complaints jumped 537% over December 2016 numbers with no explanation for the sudden spike in student loan complaints between December and January.
  • For the three-month period, student loans indicated the highest increase in change – 388% when compared to 2016. The CFPB explained this year to year increase as being partly attributable to the CFPB updating its student loan intake to include complaints about Federal student loan servicing in February 2016; and
  • On a monthly basis, all product complaints minus complaints on money transfers increased over December numbers.

Highlighted Product: Credit Reporting

  • The CFPB notes that the most common credit reporting complaint in July was incorrect information on credit reports, which been the case each time credit reporting is highlighted (76% of all credit reporting complaints);
  • The CFPB report indicates that these complaints frequently involved difficulties with disputing credit reporting inaccuracies. A lot of these complaints involve issues with customer service.
  • Many consumers additionally submitted complaints about inaccurate personal information on their reports involving incorrect or unrecognized names and addresses and “mixed” credit reports.
  • The report also notes that complaints about hard credit inquiries are increasing. Consumers complain that hard inquiries appear when they did not take any action to apply for a loan.
  • The report also notes that complaints about accounts being reported where the consumer is in bankruptcy are also on the rise.
  • The Report notes that the Bureau is receiving complaints against specialty consumer reporting agencies and highlighted complaints involving rental, background, and employment screening complaints.

Caren Enloe is a partner who concentrates her practice in consumer financial services litigation and compliance, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation with an emphasis on creditor’s rights. She has a deep understanding of the complex compliance environment surrounding the financial services industry and regularly advises financial service companies on licensing and compliance issues involving state and federal consumer protection and finance statutes. Caren is the author of a daily blog titled: Consumer Financial Services Litigation and Compliance where she posts timely and informative updates regarding the CFPB, FTC, and a host of topical litigation issues involving consumer protection law....LEARN MORE

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