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Consumer Credit Report Complaints Skyrocket

The CFPB and What it Means For You

May 24, 2016. Just another day? Au contraire. The 24th of May marked the day that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its monthly consumer report to the public. More importantly, it was the day that more of the credit bureaus’ dirty laundry was hung out to dry.

Shockingly, or maybe not so, there have been 882,800 complaints filed against the credit bureaus since May 1, 2016 alone! These complaints specifically address consumer frustrations related to incorrect reporting of information and the difficulties in removing those errors.

With credit bureau complaints on the rise, the CFPB remains committed to helping consumers get those errors fixed by addressing the problem head on. The CFPB’s goal is to ensure the bureaus do their job, and do it right. For instance, following through with proper investigations, removing harmful errors, and treating consumers with fairness. Errors can severely impact a consumer’s credit report which is exactly why the CFPB stands up for consumer rights by establishing transparency.

So, what exactly are these shocking numbers? Here’s a breakdown. About 77% of the complaints submitted to the credit bureaus were related to the reporting of incorrect information – debt collection items that have actually been paid, debt appearing past the statute of limitations, and unrecognizable debt, to name just a few.

Another significant area of dissatisfaction reported by consumers to the CFPB relates to the dispute process at large. Yes, consumers have the option of going through a dispute process to get these harmful errors removed, however that dispute process is often not so easy, nor is it successful. Consumers report experiencing excessive delays, difficulty speaking to an actual representative, negative customer service, and failure to correct the error.

Some more numbers for you:

  • In April 2016, the most complained about issue to the credit bureaus was debt collection – approximately 7,330. The second most complained about issue was credit reporting – 4,587 complaints. The third largest complaint related to mortgages – 4,347 complaints. Together, these three items amounted to 68% of all complaints submitted to the CFPB in April 2016.
  • Between February 2016 and April 2016, the increase in student loan complaints was 48% from the same period of time last year – this year, 992 complaints; last year, 669 complaints.
  • The three companies who received the most complaints out of all companies complained about from December 2015 to February 2016 were Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Clearly, the CFPB is on your side when it comes to credit bureaus. Not only do they collect incredibly valuable data, but they also work to protect your rights as consumers. Founded in 2011 as a part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB was created as a platform for consumer complaints. In 2012, the Consumer Complaint Database was born. Today, it is the nation’s largest database of consumer financial complaints.

Important information for you:

  • To view data from the Consumer Complaint Database, click here.
  • To file a complaint, click here.
  • CFPB toll-free telephone number: 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or TTY/TDD phone number at 1-855-729-CFPB (2372)
  • To send a fax to the CFPB: 1-855-237-2392
  • To mail a letter to the CFPB: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244
  • To view the CFPB website, click here.

Most importantly, remember that the CFPB isn’t your only option, nor is it your last resort. At McCarthy Law, consumer rights are the heart of what we do. From debt settlement to the removal of harmful credit report errors, we do it all and we do it all for you! Every consumer should feel confident in their finances and credit scores, so let us help you improve yours! We have a team of dedicated, caring attorneys who will fight hard for your rights. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today at (602) 456-8900 or toll-free at (855) 867-2121.

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Kevin Fallon McCarthy is the McCarthy Law PLC’s managing attorney and an experienced Phoenix debt attorney. Mr. McCarthy has also worked as general counsel for a large corporation. He has corporate counsel experience in human resource matters, general corporate governance, and union class action litigation.