The CFPB releases its “Naughty List”

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Jul 23, 2015

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released its first ever “Monthly Complaint Report” in which it provides statistical information regarding consumer complaints that it has received during the preceding year. The Report is sure to become mandatory reading for consumer advocates, as well as members of the plaintiffs and defense bars.

It comes as no surprise that the majority of complaints lodged with the CFPB arise from debt collection and mortgage issues. Over the last year, the CFPB received an average of 7,000 complaints per month regarding debt collection issues and 4,300 complaints per month on mortgage issues. Debt collectors can get under a consumer’s skin like nothing else, and that’s particularly true if the debt relates to a mortgage issue, i.e. the consumer’s home.

Likely owing to the fact that the credit reporting industry is an oligopoly, three of the four “Most-Complained About Companies” were the big three credit reporting agencies. Equifax took top honors, averaging nearly 1,000 CFPB complaints per month. Experian and TransUnion averaged 885 and 727 complaints per month, respectively. Banks and mortgage companies/servicers rounded out the rest of the Top 10 Most Complained About Companies.

The Report also contains an interesting geographic breakdown of consumer complaints received by the CFPB. The states with the highest rates of CFPB complaints? The District of Columbia (122 complaints per 100,000 residents), Delaware (95 complaints per 100,000 residents) and Nevada (75 complaints per 100,000 residents). The states with the lowest complaint rates were no surprise. West Virginia (26/100,000), Arkansas (28/100,000) and North Dakota (29/100,000).

The rest of the Report is well worth your time. Here is a link to a PDF of the Report: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201507_cfpb_monthly-complaint-report-vol-1.pdf

Craig E. Bertschi, Partner — McRae Bertschi LLC