On August 1, the CFPB released a special edition of its monthly complaint report, highlighting company and consumer responses to the Bureau’s consumer complaint process. According to the Bureau, it has handled over 1.2 million complaints from 2011 through July 1 of this year. In the last three years, debt collection, credit reporting, and mortgage complaints were the top three consumer complaint categories. The report illustrates the handling of a consumer complaint:
- Consumer Resource Centers answer questions about consumer financial products and services and provide status updates on existing complaints;
- The CFPB states that companies receive complaints typically within a day, and that within 15 days, consumers generally receive a response in one of the following four categories: (i) closed with monetary relief; (ii) closed with non-monetary relief; (iii) closed with explanation; and (iv) closed. The Bureau states that companies have provided “timely responses to approximately 97% of complaints”;
- Consumers can check the status of their complaints through the Bureau’s portal, review responses received from the company, and provide feedback on the company’s response.
Consumer feedback, the CFPB stated, primarily concerns disputes regarding companies’ responses. Among the dispute categories, 23 percent related to mortgages, 22 percent to consumer loans, and 20 percent to credit cards. The Bureau reported that negative and positive feedback is used to improve the complaint process.