CFPB Has Seen 50% Increase on Complaints During Pandemic
Americans are filing a record-breaking number of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the pandemic. The two primary missions of the CFPB are providing consumers with “timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions,” and ensuring that “markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.”
I have mentioned the CFPB sometimes here on the site. It is usually a last resort when there are issues for credit card offers, or bank bonuses that financial institutions refuse to pay out. If you are in the right, then a CFPB complaint will usually solve those issues quickly. But the CFPB also received a wide variety of other complaints. Consumers can complain to the CFPB about alleged errors on credit reports, debt collection agencies’ practices, student loans abusive behavior from financial institutions and more. Alleged credit reporting problems have been the largest complaint category since the database launched.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau first reported a record number of complaints back in March as the coronavirus pandemic was getting started in the United States. The CFPB received 29,494 complaints in March about various sorts of alleged consumer mistreatment. Since then, every month has marked a new record. April counted 34,930 complaints, May 36,971 and 37,286 in June. Complaint levels during the pandemic are up 50% over complaint levels during the same time frame last year, from March to June 2019. The full report can be found here.
Between March and June, consumers sent in 85,185 complaints about credit reporting, credit repair services and other types of personal consumer reports. That’s an 86% increase from the 45,722 complaints filed on credit reporting in the same four-month period last year.
“The record level of consumer complaints is a blaring red light signaling the huge challenges consumers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gideon Weissman of Frontier Group, the report’s co-author. “The Consumer Complaint Database has long been an early warning system for emerging problems in the financial marketplace, and it has never been more valuable than now — when many Americans need more help than ever before.”