Complaints about credit reporting take over as top consumer grievance in 2017 (overpowering debt collections)

Complaints about credit or consumer reporting made up nearly one-third (31%) of the 320,000 grievances received 2017 by the federal consumer financial protection agency, the most of one category received, according to a report from the bureau issued Monday.

In its Consumer Response Annual Report for 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said the top five complaint areas were rounded out by complaints about: debt collection (26% of all complaints), mortgages (12%), credit cards (8%), and checking or savings accounts (8%).

As the leader in complaints for 2017, credit or consumer reporting supplanted debt collections, which led the list of top complaints in both 2016 and 2015 (30% and 31%, respectively), according to the report.

In fact, complaints about debt collections have been the leader in complaints received by the consumer bureau since 2011, when the agency began accepting complaints. Over those years, of the more than 1.4 million complaints received, about 27% have been about debt collections.

CFPB said in its report that debt collection, mortgage, and credit or consumer reporting complaints are the most-complained-about consumer financial products and services, noting that “complaints submitted to the Bureau about these products and services account for approximately 960,000 (68%)” of all the complaints it has received.

Regarding 2017’s top complaint generator (credit or consumer reporting), the bureau report noted that more than half (55%) were about incorrect information on consumer reports. Complaints about problems with a credit reporting company’s investigation into an existing issue and complaints about “improper use of a credit report” accounted for 20% and 18% of the complaints, respectively, the report stated.

Of the 320,000 complaints received last year, the agency said, “consumers submitted approximately 81% of these complaints through the Bureau’s website and 5% via telephone calls. Referrals from other federal and state agencies accounted for 8% of all complaints received by the Bureau in 2017. Consumers submitted the remainder of complaints by mail, email, and fax.”

CFPB Consumer Response Annual Report for 2017