Five years in and a million complaints down. That is the story the CFPB is putting out today — since having been founded in 2011, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has handled over one million consumer complaints, a milestone they sailed past earlier this month.
The news was released in connection to the publication of the September 2016 Monthly Complaint Report (Volume 15), known collectively in the financial services sector as the monthly airing of the grievances.
“Since opening our doors in 2011, we have handled over one million complaints from consumers about their problems with financial products and services,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Not only have we achieved substantial relief for consumers, but hearing directly from consumers is fundamental to our mission. We can better protect all consumers because of what we learn from those who have submitted complaints and shared their experiences with us.”
The complaint report handles a variety of topics including credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, private student loans, vehicle and other consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection, and payday loans.
Mortgage products are the leading cause of complaints over the last half-decade; debt collection takes up the number two spot. Collectively, mortgages and debt collection represent over 50 percent of all complaints to the CFPB. Credit reporting was the third-most complained about financial product.
Getting the special shout-out from the complaints of September 2016 from the CFPB are money transfer services.
The CFPB notes that tens of billions of dollars are sent both domestically and abroad through said services, and that as of Sept. 1, 2016, the Bureau had handled approximately 6,900 money transfer complaints.
Leading among those complaints were access to funds, difficulty resolving errors when they arise and an increasing prevalence of fraud.
The fraud numbers were the most disturbing, since they indicate 41 percent of money transfer complaints were related to being victims of fraud. A common complaint submitted by consumers is that they send money to a seller but did not receive the items they purchased in return.