On February 8, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released its monthly complaint report. For the month of December 2016, the products and services generating the most complaints were debt collection, credit reporting, and mortgages, collectively representing about 65 percent of complaints.

In a year-to-year comparison covering the three-month time period between October and December in 2015 and 2016, student loans showed the greatest increase in complaints— an increase of 109 percent—of any product or service. The CFPB attributes part of this increase to a February 2016 update to its student loan intake form, which allowed it to accept complaints about Federal student loan servicing.  During the same period, complaints about prepaid products, payday loans, and mortgages declined by 59 percent, 23 percent, and 5 percent respectively. The decline in complaints about these products continues a trend reported in the CFPB’s last complaint report.

The current monthly report focused on complaints about mortgages. Along with debt collection and credit reporting, the  report indicated that mortgages are consistently among the three products  and services generating the most complaints to the CFPB, and since July 21, 2011, mortgages have been the second-most-complained-about product, representing 24% of all complaints.

The most common issues raised by consumers are problems that arise when they are unable to pay their mortgage, such as loan modification, collection, and foreclosure. Such issues were raised in 49 percent of complaints about mortgages.  Other common issues raised in consumer complaints relating to mortgages include making payments (such as the misapplication of payments (33 percent)), applying for a mortgage (9 percent), signing the agreement (5 percent), and getting an offer of credit (3 percent).