'Non-debt' collection biggest complaint, CFPB notes

March 29, 2016 -- Attempts to collect on a debt a consumer has reported was not owed is the most common complaint related to debt collection, the CFPB reported today in its latest monthly consumer complaint snapshot.

According to CFPB, debt collection has been the most-complained-about financial product to the CFPB by consumers. As of March 1, the Bureau reported it had handled approximately 219,200 debt collection complaints.

With regard to complaints about debts not actually owed, CFPB reported that involves both first- and third-party debt collectors attempting to collect. These types of complaints, CFPB noted, accounted for 38 percent of all debt collection complaints submitted.
Overall, the agency reported it had handled 834,400 complaints nationally, as of March 1, 2016. Among the highlights from the agency’s monthly snapshot report:

  • As of March 1, 2016, debt collection complaints represented 26 percent of total cumulative complaints submitted to the CFPB, surpassing mortgages as the most-complained-about product or service since the Bureau began accepting complaints in July 2011.
  • Complaints submitted relating to credit reporting rose 13 percent between January and February 2016. During the month of February, 3,832 credit reporting complaints were submitted to the Bureau. 
  • Of the five most populated states, New York—12 percent—experienced the greatest month-to-month complaint volume percentage increase, while Texas—8 percent—experienced the greatest month-to-month percentage decrease. Complaints from the five most populous states, California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois account for more than 40 percent of complaints submitted to the CFPB since July 2011.  

The report highlights Florida for its geographic focus, noting that, as of March 1, 2016, Florida consumers submitted 80,200 of the 834,400 complaints the CFPB has handled. Complaints from the three largest metro areas in Florida -- Miami, Orlando, and Tampa Bay -- accounted for nearly 60 percent of the complaints submitted from the state. Among the top complaints from consumers in the state: Mortgages (higher than national trend) and debt collection (slightly less than the national trend).


CFPB press release on March snapshot
Monthly complaint report