CFPB Launches Monthly Reports To Showcase Financial Difficulties In Specific Areas Of The U.S.

Have you ever wondered if people on the other side of the country run into the same difficulties dealing with financial institutions as you do? Well, wonder no more, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced today that it will provide a peek into the overall state of consumer complaints in the U.S. and how individuals in certain areas deal with companies providing financial products and services through a new monthly series. First up: Milwaukee, WI, and debt collection.

The CFPB announced today that it would begin releasing a series of reports that provide an in-depth look at consumer complaint trends from around the country, and how those issues have affected residents of specific areas.

According to the CFPB’s first report [PDF] – which includes complaint data on company performance, complaint volume, state and local information, and product trends – the most complained about issue in entire U.S. in the last three months involved debt collection.

“For the 22nd consecutive month, we handled more complaints about debt collection than any other type of complaint. Debt collection complaints represented about 32% of complaints submitted in June 2015,” the report states.

Of the 23,400 complaints filed from April to June, more than 7,474 of them were about debt collection, with many issues involving continued attempts by debt collectors to collect debts the consumer contends are not owed.

The second most complained about problem surrounding debt collection dealt with the operations’ communications tactics. Consumer say they were often contacted too frequently or at inconvenient times of the day.

When looked at from a state-by-state perspective, debt collection complaints were more likely to come from West Virginia, Utah and Washington than any other area. Conversely, complaints about debt collection decreased in South Dakota, Wyoming and Rhode Island from June 2014 to June 2015.

The most complained about companies in June, according to the CFPB report, Enhanced Recovery Company, Encore Capital Group, and Portfolio Recovery Associates, with Enchanted seeing a 252% increase in complaints compared to last year.

The CFPB reports that the top 30 most-complained-about companies for debt collection received about 40% of all debt collection-related complaints between February and April 2015.

As part of the new series, the CFPB will choose one geographic area to highlight each month. This month, the Bureau shares a bit about the shady financial dealings happening in Milwaukee.

“Highlighting one particular region or location can spur people into creating their own localized reports and seeing what consumers in their own areas are saying about the financial marketplace,” the Bureau says.

As of July 1, the residents of the Milwaukee area submitted about 7,700 complaints to the CFPB, representing about 1% off all complaints received by the Bureau.

According to the Bureau’s analysis, the area experiences a higher number of debt collections complaints than most other metro areas. Debt collection has been the most complained about product month-over-month since the CFPB started taking debt collection complaints in July 2013.

Although debt collection complaints were tops in Milwaukee, the area actually saw fewer mortgage and credit reporting complaints than the national average, the CFPB states.

As for the city’s most complained about companies, they followed suit with national trends, naming Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Ocwen, and Capital One as the most likely to give consumers issues.

Consumers interested in sharing their negative experiences with companies that provide financial services or products can do so on the CFPB’s complaint database.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Its First-Ever Monthly Complaint Snapshot to Spotlight Consumer Trends [CFPB]

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