CFPB releases complaint data

by Justin da Rosa29 Jun 2015
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released over 7,000 complaints from consumers against financial services providers -- including many big banks regarding mortgages -- which originators can use to win potential clients.

Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB believes the database is a “valued educational and shopping tool.”

“We believe the disclosure of this information is one of the best tools government agencies can use to improve the operation of the marketplace,’’ said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The CFPB released a snapshot of all grievances aired by consumers, publishing 7,700 complaints on Thursday. And it claims the database will help millions of Americans make more informed banking decisions.

“By submitting a complaint, consumers can be heard by financial companies, get help with their own issues, and help others avoid similar ones,” the CFPB database website states. “Every complaint provides insight into problems that people are experiencing, helping us identify inappropriate practices and allowing us to stop them before they become major issues. The result: better outcomes for consumers, and a better financial marketplace for everyone.”

The Boston Globe crunched some numbers for Massachusetts and discovered many of the complaints compiled in the database are against big banks.

Bank of America received the most complaints (1,294), followed by Citibank (481), RBS Citizens (479), Santander Bank US (444), JPMorgan Chase (433), Wells Fargo (393), and Ocwen (377).

One example of a client complaint was against Bank of America who felt he was swindled into taking on a longer mortgage.

“Then I get letters from them informing me to participate in their Trail Loan Modification program to lower my monthly mortgage payments. So I enroll. My mortgage payment were reduced for five months from $2,000 to $1,700,” the disgruntled consumer wrote. “At the end of five months they informed me they were going to extend my current 30 year mortgage another 15 years in order for me to receive these lower monthly payments.”