Debt collection complaints topped the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s annual list in 2015 with 31% of total complaints, but the number dipped 3.5% to 85,200. Complaints about credit reporting, which finished second on the list with 20% of total complaints, rose 23% to 55,000.
Consumer complaints overall rose 8% to 271,600 last year compared to 2014, the CFPB said in its annual report.
Consumer loans also showed a big jump in complaints, up 41% last year to 13,500, compared with a year earlier. Nearly half of the complaints were focused on auto loans, followed by installment loans. Many of the complaints involved so-called bait-and-switch tactics involving a lender offering favorable terms to attract a borrower, then changing the terms before a contract was signed, the CFPB said.
Complaints about prepaid cards and consumers loans soared, according to the CFPB. Prepaid card complaints rose 275% from a year earlier to 3,000 in 2015. Consumers had the most problems opening, closing and managing prepaid card accounts. The CFPB added complaints about prepaid cards in January 2015.
Last week, the CFPB released its monthly report on complaints, which indicated that the most common type of debt collection complaint in February concerned attempts to collect on a debt the consumer reported wasn’t owed. The CFPB, through March 1, has handled approximately 219,200 debt collection complaints since it started accepting them in July 2011.