CFPB hotline address mortgage industry issues

After nearly a month of having an official director, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has presented its first official report to Congress indicating the progress it has made.

After nearly a month of having an official director, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has presented its first official report to Congress indicating the progress it has made.

One particular highlight in the CFPB's semi-annual report was the progress made by the new complaint hotline that American consumers can use to report any issues or wrongdoing that they have experienced.

According to the report, the hotline, which hopes to create safety and soundness for American consumers, received an estimated 10,000 total complaints between July and the end of December. These complaints spanned a number of issues including mortgages, general loans and credit cards. However, of the total complains received in December alone the CFPB noted that roughly 38 percent of the 2,300 received were complaints regarding loan modifications and foreclosures.      

Despite the large share of mortgage related complaints, the CFPB stated that when acting as a complaint mediator between borrowers and lenders, many mortgage firms were highly responsive to the proceedings.

The report showed that when approached by the bureau, mortgage companies were responsive to approximately 88 percent of complaints, and of this percentage nearly half were provided relief. In some cases, borrowers even received financial compensation for their issues. 

Prior to the beginning of December, the CFPB did not accept complains pertaining to the mortgage industry. However, once the hotline was open for business, there was a surge in activity. Of the complaints received during the month, 889 were in regards to mortgage modifications and foreclosures, which was nearly double the next-largest category.

Meanwhile, by adding in the 501 complaints voiced by borrowers regarding mortgage payments, escrow accounts and loan servicing, the report found that more than half of all complaints during the month were in reference to the mortgage industry.

Additionally, complaints regarding the loan application process or a specific broker or originator accounted for a 10 percent share of complaints, while less roughly 3 percent of borrowers voiced a concern about a specific decisions made by a lender regarding their mortgage or its underwriting process.    

The success of the new hotline was not the only accomplishment voiced by the CFPB. According to the report, the bureau noted additional strides made after it partnered with government agencies to crack down on wrong doing that targeted applicants of the Home Affordable Modification Program.



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