CFPB the Yelp of the lending industry

by Kelli Rogers06 Jun 2013

Originators may have to "ratchet up quality control" as the CFPB complaint database gives them little sway over what disgruntled consumers post.

Consumers can now track, sort, search and download complaints by state. CFPB director Richard Cordray saud the data would prove valuable to consumers.

But Scott Schang, branch manager of Broadview Mortgage, likened the CFPB complaints to Yelp, Angie’s List or any other ratings site where the business has no control over what a disgruntled consumer may post. The database allows the public to see what consumers complained about and why – including the type of complaint and the company that the complaint concerns – although the original submitted complaint in the words of the consumer isn’t visible.

“The biggest difference is that if you get enough of those complaints, the CFPB can start to nose around in your business,” Schang said.

While five-digit ZIP code information – self-identified by the consumer – has always been included in the complaint information, adding the state helps people more easily localize data, the CFPB reports. According to the database, the top states per capita by mortgage complaints are New Hampshire, Maryland, DC, Georgia and Florida.

The increase in complaint information available has met with some opposition from lenders who have said they haven’t had the chance to resolve a conflict before it’s posted, but the database isn’t a bad thing if it makes a lender more conscious of how they conduct their business, Schang said.

“I know that we have definitely had to ratchet up quality control in terms of customer service and be able to put out fires fast, even if it costs us money and even if we've done everything right and it's not our fault,” Schang said. “It's the nature of our business right now.”

The lending community needs to be hyper-sensitive about the customer's experience and perception of the experience of financing a home, he noted, especially in today’s socially-networked world.



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