CFPB Issues 2020 Annual Complaint Report

Mar 31, 2021Federal Regulation, News

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its Consumer Response Annual Report for 2020 to provide insight on issues consumers reported to the Bureau throughout the year. The Bureau saw the pandemic’s impact on the consumer financial marketplace with roughly 542,300 complaints in 2020, a 54 percent increase from 2019.

“The pandemic has been among the most disruptive long-term events we will see in our lifetimes,” said Dave Uejio, CFPB Acting Director. “Consumer complaints provide the CFPB with an important real-time window into where consumers encounter problems in the marketplace.”

According to the report, credit and consumer reporting complaints made up more than 58 percent of complaints, followed by debt collection (15 percent), credit card (7 percent), checking or savings (6 percent), and mortgage (5 percent) complaints. Personal loans, payday loans, and credit repair loans ranked at the bottom of the list, comprising 0.9 percent, 0.3 percent, and 0.2 percent of overall loan complaints respectively. Consumers submitted nearly 32,100 complaints mentioning coronavirus or related keywords in 2020.

The study found that Florida consumers filed the most complaints per capita, with 309 complaints submitted per 100,000 in population. Additionally, the CFPB received 40,800 complaints from veterans, servicemembers, and military families.

The report highlighted multi-year complaint trends from before the pandemic, but the CFPB received more complaints regarding inaccurate information on credit and consumer reports in 2020 than in 2019. These complaints were primarily about the three largest Nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies (NCRAs): Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

An American Banker article covering the report noted that a significant amount of complaints addressed identity theft-related concerns. The CFPB plans to issue a separate report about how the NCRAs handle complaints, but the credit unions did not immediately respond to the requests for comments.

In February, Uejio called out financial firms for neglecting or hesitating to respond to complaints. “The CFPB expects companies to respond to these concerns and that consumers receive responses from companies that address the issues consumers raise in their complaints,” he said.

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