CFPB Consumer Complaint Bulletin Highlights Consumer Difficulties During Pandemic
Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a complaint bulletin highlighting difficulties consumers faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic concerning evictions, access to economic impact payments, and student loans.
“Millions of families, including renters, homeowners, and student loan borrowers, are facing the end of pandemic-era protections and payment assistance in the coming months,” said Dave Uejio, the Bureau’s Acting Director. “For an equitable recovery, shoddy customer service cannot stand in the way of everyone receiving the relief Congress provided.”
As of May 2021, roughly 6.7 million renters were behind on their rental payments, many of whom fell behind after losing their jobs during the pandemic. Consumers reported to the CFPB issues of receiving questionable charges and notices for outstanding account balances. The Bureau noted that it will closely monitor evictions and debt collecting activities as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
Consumers also contacted the CFPB about difficulties accessing Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) and being charged overdraft fees when financial institutions reversed advances, or provisional credits, of the funds. Others reported receiving the funds on old prepaid cards that were used to receive tax refunds in prior years, which caused delays in accessing the initial EIPs and subsequent disbursements.
Additionally, student loan borrowers reported issues receiving answers about their account status while loan payments were suspended. Some borrowers who complained to the CFPB did not get their issues addressed by their servicer within the 60 days that the Bureau allows.