Three big states account for nearly a third of complaints to CFPB

Register now

WASHINGTON — Over 30% of the customer complaints lodged about a financial institution and submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau January 2017 through June 2018 originated in one of three states: California, Florida and Texas.

A report released by the CFPB Tuesday, providing a snapshot of the consumer complaint database broken down by state, showed California leading the way with residents there submitting just over 63,000 complaints — nearly 13% of the 494,540 total complaints the bureau received during that period.

Florida was second with 46,366, followed by Texas with 45,593. However, the District of Columbia had the most complaints per 100,000 people at 358, followed by Georgia with 270 and Delaware with 228.

The bureau said it analyzed complaints in order to present a “high-level overview” of trends to supplement its consumer response annual report. In total, the CFPB saw a 9% increase in monthly complaints from 2017 to 2018.

Whereas in 2016 consumer complaints focused on debt collection more than than any financial service, credit and consumer reporting issues was the most prevalent area drawing complaints in 2017, particularly consumer reporting that contained inaccurate information.

People living in D.C, Delaware, Texas and California complained most often about debt collection issues, while people living in Georgia and Florida complained most often about credit and consumer reporting.

Wyoming was the source of the fewest total complaints of any state, with just 386. Iowa had the least amount of complaints per 100,000 people at just 63, followed by West Virginia, Wyoming and South Dakota. The top complaint in these states was also about debt collection.

The CFPB reported that 94% to 99% of all complaints in every state received a timely company response, with Vermont receiving the highest percentage of timely responses at 99%, and Wyoming receiving the lowest at 94%.

The Dodd-Frank Act required that the CFPB maintain a consumer complaint database. Former CFPB Director Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general who is now running for governor of the state, chose to allow public access to the complaints via a searchable online database.

Current acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney has requested public comment on whether the complaints should continue to be public, and has signaled that he is interested in making the complaints private. Financial firms generally oppose the comments being public because the claims are not verified by the bureau for accuracy.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Dodd-Frank Financial institutions Debt collection Credit reporting CFPB