ORLANDO — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received about 2,300 complaints about mortgage servicers in December, when it began accepting complaints online, and the pace of borrower complaints has been steady ever since, according to a senior agency official.
"It's been pretty active,' Christopher C. Haspel, a senior advisor for securitization and servicing at the CFPB, said Wednesday at a mortgage servicing conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The most common complaint from borrowers is that servicers repeatedly ask them for documentation, even though the borrowers have already sent in various forms several times, Haspel said.
"It's one of the areas that has the need for transparency," Haspel said during a panel discussion at the conference.
Still, many servicers have the ability to electronically access documents from a loan file, so some complaints can be resolved quickly.
"We get both the borrower and the servicer side of the story and if it's the case that the borrower never had the ability to pay and the servicer followed all the laws and regulations, then the complaint is resolved," Haspel told American Banker after the panel.
Reforming the mortgage markets is one of the Bureau's top priorities, and one of its primary responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank Act. The agency is now working with other regulators to develop new servicing standards "with the goal of coming up with a single set of standards," Haspel said.
Consumers typically file complaints online. After the CFPB completes a review, the agency sends the complaint to the mortgage servicer, which has 15 days to respond. Most of the complaints are resolved within about 60 days, Haspel said.
If there are specific violations of law by servicers, the CFPB "will take a deeper dive," he said.
The agency began accepting complaints about mortgages on Dec. 1 and received 2,300 in the first month alone, despite little advertising, he said.