Mortgages Trump All Other Financial Products for Complaints, Says CFPB

Mortgages are the most complained about financial products tracked by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency reports. In a semi-annual report released today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tallied its work from January through June of this year, spanning the time since it began oversight and enforcement of non-bank institutions.

Among the CFPB’s work is a count of all consumer financial complaints the bureau has collected through its complaint portal via phone and online. Comprising 43% of those complaints: mortgage products. The agency’s consumer response team began handling mortgage complaints in December 2011, and has since received nearly 24,000. 

Of the complaints, more than half arise when a homeowner is unable to make his or her mortgage payment. An additional 25% have to do with making payments. 


“Consumers who have filed these complaints generally appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives,” the CFBP reports. “The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing….Issues related to applying for the loan, such as the application, the originator, or the mortgage broker, are also among the most common types of mortgage complaints.”

The consumer complaint portal allows companies that are subject to the complaints to respond and close the complaints. Of those mortgage complaints made since the agency began collection, 66% were closed by the company with some explanation and 9% were resolved with monetary relief. 

“Consumers deserve to be treated fairly, and to have someone stand on their side when they are not,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The CFPB has used the tools at our disposal for the benefit of consumers in the past year, and we pledge to continue to do so as we work to promote a transparent, fair, and competitive consumer financial marketplace.”

View the report.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • I feel the report is understandable. However, it would have been nice to see the report include a break down of what mortgage product received what percentage of the complaints.

    I would have like to see what percentage of the complaints were made against reverse mortgages?

    John A. Smaldone

    • John,

      What comfort would there be if HECM borrower complaints were the fewest?  Most mortgage complaints arise out of payment issues.  So with reverse mortgages the time most complaints would be expected to arise is at termination.

      Unless our goal is to delude seniors that somehow we have fewer complaints without adequately explaining why that would be, it seems the reporting is better this way.  Perhaps if the report released such information under a different report with sufficient caveats and notations, the idea is sound.  Without such information, it would seem the “educators” in our industry could use it to their own ends.

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