The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its monthly report on consumer complaints, which provides an overview of three-month trends in consumer complaints. The latest report highlights consumer complaints related to credit cards as well as consumer complaints from the Chicago metro area.

The CFPB handled more than 726,000 consumer complaints between July 21, 2011, and Oct. 1, 2015, according to the report. Approximately 79,500 complaints related to credit cards. The issues consumers complained about related to credit cards include:

  • Confusion about how late fees are assessed
  • Difficulty resolving and disputing inaccurate charges
  • Credit card companies closing accounts without prior notice to consumers

The report states that Citibank, Capital One, GE Capital Retail and JPMorgan Chase were the most complained about companies related to credit cards. Those companies together accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total credit card-related complaints.
Across all consumer financial products and services regulated by the CFPB, the latest report includes the following statistics for September:

  • 29,354 consumer complaints were submitted.
  • The most complained about consumer financial product or service was debt collection, which accounted for approximately 29% of all complaints.
  • Credit reporting was the second most complained about consumer financial product or service.
  • Complaints about debt settlement, credit repair and check cashing showed the greatest year-to-year increase (from September 2014 to September 2015).
  • Idaho had the greatest year-to-year complaint volume increase (September 2014 to September 2015).
  • Equifax, Experian and Bank of America were the top three most complained about companies, which remained unchanged from August.

Along with providing national consumer financial complaint trends, the report highlights complaints originating from the Chicago metro area. Of the 726,000 complaints that have been submitted to the CFPB since July 2011, 21,100 originated from the Chicago metro area. Chicago area consumer complaints largely mirror national trends, with the most complaints related to mortgage, debt collection and credit reporting.
The CFPB launched its Consumer Complaint Database in June 2012. It permits consumers to submit complaints about consumer financial products and services. Once the CFPB receives a complaint it forwards it to the relevant company for a response. Companies generally have 15 days to respond to the complaint, unless an extension is secured in the meantime. 

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