CFPB reports trends in servicemember fin. services complaints

April 27, 2015
WASHINGTON (4/28/15)--Debt collection, credit reporting and student lending practices top the list of servicemembers' complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a report released Monday. The bureau's third "Snapshot of Complaints Received from Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families" details data and trends received since July 2011.
Click to view larger imageServicemember complaint by product. (Source: CFPB)
The CFPB received more than 17,000 complaints from servicemembers in 2014, which represents a steadily increasing volume, said Holly Petraeus, assistant director for the CFPB's Office of Servicemember Affairs.

Roughly 29,500 complaints from servicemembers have been received by the CFPB from July 21, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014. 
Highlights from the reports include:
  • Debt collection complaints have risen steadily since the bureau's last report, and now make up 39% of total complaints, the largest category within the military community;
  • Credit reporting remains a top category of concern, and 72% of those complaints are about incorrect information on credit reports;
  • Student loans were another concern, with 49% of those complaints regarding issues with lenders or servicers. The complaints highlight several longstanding trends, including servicemembers saying they were not provided rights guaranteed by the Servicemember Civil Relief Act; and
  • Basic account servicing, including account access restrictions and maintenance/penalty fees, is a "significant" area of concern for the CFPB.
The Defense Credit Union Council, which represents the interests of credit unions operating on military bases around the world, has been in touch with member credit unions to ensure they note challenges that servicemembers and families face during deployments and permanent changes of station. Maintaining account access and management is among the credit unions' top priorities.
The report also highlights CFPB outreach efforts in 2014, which included connecting with roughly 17,000 servicemembers, veterans and military families through a number of live events, including ones at 34 installations around the world.