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Four million complaints: More than just a milestone

October 1, 2023 / Source: CFPB

At the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumer complaints help drive our work. They give us insight into what individuals and families are experiencing in the financial marketplace: the problems they face, what’s happening at certain companies or with financial products, and the places where we might need to focus our supervisory and enforcement efforts. Each week, we send more than 20,000 complaints to companies for response, and last month, we published our four millionth complaint.

We’re using those complaints to improve consumers’ lives. More than half of the complaints in our Consumer Complaint Database are about consumer reporting. In the last year, the CFPB has received an increasing number of complaints related to consumer reporting compared to prior years. The most common complaints are about inaccurate information, but consumers have increasingly reported improper use of their credit reports. The CFPB recently kicked off a rulemaking process to address some acute risks that consumer reporting poses for American families, including removing medical debt from credit reports and preventing misuse and abuse by data brokers.

Complaints also help consumers get resolution to the problems they encounter. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are just a few examples of what consumers are saying:

A servicemember and older consumer from Maryland was trying, without success, to get incorrect negative information removed from their credit report. After submitting a complaint, we contacted the credit reporting company, and the information was removed. The consumer shared, “Thank you very much for looking into my situation. The company did do the right [thing] in this case. I appreciate you holding the company’s feet to the fire. Excellent work. Again, thank you.”

One individual from New Jersey was getting bills for a debt they didn’t owe. They submitted a complaint to the CFPB and got the help they needed. Later, they told us, “[The] complaint was handled quickly. It is shameful that it [took] over [a] year of complaining with [the] company doing nothing about it only to file a complaint and have resolution within a week…”

One individual from Massachusetts sent us their story:

[The] CFPB was a huge help! My WWII Vet father passed away last August and there were unexplained charges / missing credits on his card around the time I terminated the account, as Estate Administrator, in November. Various…departments and contractors gave me the endless run around with long phone holds, non-responsive answers, and useless bots online, all blaming each other, but never providing the requested explanation over the course of 14+ resolution attempts. CFPB got [the company’s] attention right away, and a real human with access to the data called me within a few days …thanks! Without CFPB, I would probably still be getting the run around.

These complaints—and others like it—have resulted in meaningful outcomes for consumers: money refunded, collection calls stopped, and incorrect information removed from reports. If you have a problem with a financial product or service, submit a complaint to us online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372), and we’ll work to get you a response.