Debt collection complaints fell in May, and the average of complaints from March through May also dropped, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest monthly complaint report.

Consumer loan complaints, which the CFPB highlighted in the latest report, had the second-highest three-month average increase, after student loans.

Complaints about consumer loans, including vehicle loans and leases, installment loans, pawn loans, title loans and personal lines of credit - increased 27%, from 1,020 to 1,297, when comparing March to May 2015 and March to May 2016, according to the report. Complaints in May 2016 increased 1% to 1,277 for consumer loans and the monthly average since 2011 is 739. 

The CFPB has received a total of 38,455 consumer loan complaints since 2011, of which 52% represent issues with vehicle loans. Thirty-one percent of complaints were about installment loans.

The CFPB has received 241,276 complaints about debt collection since 2011. There were 6,911 debt collection complaints in May, a 5% decrease.  Debt collection represented 29% of complaints submitted in May 2016.

Overall, the CFPB has handled a total of an estimated 906,400 total complaints since 2011.

Student loan complaints showed the greatest three-month average increase, 61%, from 683 in March to May 2015 to 1,098 in March to May 2016. However, student loan complaints in May fell 19% to 969, according to the report. The monthly average of student loan complaints since the CFPB started collecting consumer complaints is 515 and there have been 26,702 complaints since 2011.

In June 2012, the CFPB began sharing individual-level complaint data on its website through the launch of the Consumer Complaint Database. In March 2015, the CFPB finalized a policy to provide consumers with the option to include complaint narratives for publication in the Consumer Complaint Database. Then, despite criticism about the lack of context in the Database, in July 2015, the CFPB began releasing monthly complaint reports that not only examine a different service category and geographic region each month, but also include a list of the “most-complained-about companies” based on raw number of complaints.


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