Highest monthly consumer complaint volumes ever (March, April) cited by CFPB director; mortgages, credit cards top those related to COVID-19

The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Tuesday told real estate industry and financial literacy meeting attendees that the bureau received the highest monthly number of consumer complaints in the bureau’s history during March and April.

In remarks released by the bureau, CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger said her agency in March and April received approximately 36,700 and 42,500 complaints respectively – “the highest monthly complaint volumes in the Bureau’s history.”

Kraninger said that while credit reporting and debt collection continue to receive the most complaints overall, for consumers mentioning COVID-19 and related terms, mortgages and credit cards currently top the list.

“A significant portion of complaints as a result of the pandemic are about issues consumers encounter when seeking alternative payment options for their mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and leases, student loans, and other loans,” according to her released remarks for legislative meetings of the National Association of Realtors and a public meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, where she is vice chair. “Consumers report that they are seeking changes to loan terms, such as suspension of payments, lower interest rates, longer loan terms, and other ways to postpone or lower monthly payments because they have lost their jobs or are working fewer hours.”

Kraninger, at the NAR meeting, also noted the website launched jointly Tuesday by the bureau, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide ready access to mortgage and renters’ assistance information related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Kraninger Remarks – National Association of Realtors 2020 Legislative Meetings

Kraninger remarks – Financial Literacy and Education Commission Public Meeting