Consumer complaints from those in minority counties outpaced those from white areas over the past two years, CFPB reports

More complaints were received in 2019 and 2020, on a per capita basis, from consumers living in predominantly minority counties than from consumers in predominantly white, non-Hispanic counties, the federal consumer financial protection agency said Wednesday.

Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said in a release, those consumers living in counties with the highest minority percentages submitted complaints at more than four times the rate compared to counties with the lowest percentage of minority populations.

The findings were contained in the bureau’s April 2021 Complaint Bulletin: County-level demographic overview of consumer complaints.

The bureau also said that credit or consumer reporting appears to cause significantly more issues for consumers in predominantly minority counties; and that consumers living in predominantly minority counties submitted more complaints on a per capita basis in nearly every one of the 11 product categories about which the agency accepts complaints.

“Today’s report shows that while all people across the nation face financial hardships, a significantly higher rate of complaints come from ethnically diverse communities,” said bureau Acting Director Dave Uejio. “The data raise concerns that deserve our further study and, as such, we’ll keep a spotlight on patterns or any abuses we see.”

The agency also gave some insights to future reporting: It said it will soon expand demographic collection to include household size and income. That will include, it said, enhancing the agency complaint form to give consumers the option to provide household size and household income when submitting a complaint.

The agency also it said it will begin exploring what additional information it may need to help better understand the experiences of diverse communities that submit complaints.

CFPB April 2021 Complaint Bulletin