CFPB complaints snapshot focuses on fin. services, N.Y. trends

January 29, 2016

WASHINGTON (1/29/16)--Consumer complaints about financial services such as debt settlement, check cashing, money orders, and credit repair are the subject of this month’s snapshot from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The report shows that consumer complaints about these types of financial services generally revolve around issues of fraud or problems with reliable customer service.

The CFPB offers “other financial service” as an option for consumers submitting a complaint that falls outside of one of the bureau’s other major complaint categories.

As of Jan. 1, the bureau had handled roughly 2,700 other financial service complaints.

Findings in the monthly snapshot include:

  • Of all complaints marked as other financial service, 60% of them were about problems consumers had when dealing with debt settlement and credit repair companies. These complaints often had to do with consumers being charged upfront fees when using these services;
  • Consumers who submitted complaints about money order issues frequently complained about the error resolution process they had to deal with, and the length of time it took to resolve errors;
  • Consumers who submit complaints involving money orders and travelers checks often believe they have been the victims of fraud. These complaints generally involve common scams involving advance payment when promised goods are not delivered and services not rendered;

In adding the report for December, the three most-complained-about financial products were credit reporting, debt collection, and mortgages, together representing 68% of complaints submitted.

Overall, the CFPB saw a 1% decrease in complaint volume between November and December 2015.

This month’s geographic spotlight examined New York state and the New York metropolitan area, which consists of parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. According to the bureau, consumers in the New York metro area have submitted 57,700 complaints to the CFPB, while New York state has submitted a total of 50,400.

The bureau has received roughly 790,000 complaints since its inception.