CFPB Updates 2020 Complaints Bulletin and Re-Focuses on COVID-19 Complaints | Ballard Spahr LLP
On July 16, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an update Complaint Bulletin 2020 and once again focused on complaints related to COVID-19.
The complaint bulletin reflects consumer complaint data for 2020 through June 15, 2020 and focuses on complaints filed through May 31, 2020 that mention COVID-19 keywords. Of the 187,547 complaints received in 2020, 8,357 included a keyword COVID-19. The highest number of complaints (1,575 or about 19%) were for mortgages, credit cards, and credit or consumer reports, ranking second and third. Just over half of mortgage complaints identified difficulty making payments as the main problem. Mortgage complaints also mentioned that borrowers with loans as part of a COVID-19 forbearance were told that a lump sum payment would be required at the end of the forbearance, which is contrary to government guidelines. . As Previously reported, CFPB and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors have warned members of the industry not to meet COVID-19 forbearance requirements or to offer limited repayment options with respect to an abstention.
Other issues cited by consumers include:
- Credit card issuers that offered deferment programs did not implement advertised options, such as not waiving interest as advertised.
- A significant drop in their credit scores due to the way a student loan manager reported their loans.
- Being charged an overdraft fee while the banks have publicly declared that the fees will be waived.
- Short term small dollar loan companies using aggressive collection tactics.
It would appear that counting only those complaints that specifically mention a COVID-19 keyword can dramatically underestimate the number of complaints related in one way or another to COVID-19. In the previous version of Complaint Bulletin, the CFPB noted that the average monthly complaint volume in 2019 was 29,000 and that in March and April 2020, the complaint volume reached record monthly at 36,700 and 42,500, respectively. In the current Bulletin, the CFPB cites April and May 2020 volumes of 42,400 and 44,100 respectively.