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CFPB Monthly Complaint Snapshot Examines Debt Settlement, Check Cashing, and Other Financial Service Complaints
Friday, January 29, 2016 6:35 AM

Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its latest monthly consumer complaint snapshot, highlighting consumer complaints about financial services such as debt settlement, check cashing, money orders, and credit repair. The report shows that consumer complaints about these types of financial services generally revolve around issues of fraud or problems with reliable customer service. As of Jan. 1, 2016, the Bureau has handled more than 790,000 complaints across all products. 

“Many of the financial services examined in today’s report are used by people struggling to make ends meet who can least afford to have issues with their financial products,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The Bureau will continue to use complaints submitted about these products to target bad actors in the financial marketplace.” 

View the Monthly Complaint Report.

Product Spotlight: Other Financial Service

The CFPB offers “other financial service” as an option for consumers submitting a complaint that falls outside of one of the Bureau’s other major complaint categories. Some of the complaints that fall into this category are debt settlement, check cashing, credit repair, and money orders. Some of the findings in the snapshot include:

  • Excessive fees for debt settlement and credit repair services.
  • Problems redeeming money orders.
  • Fraud when consumers use money orders and travelers checks. 


National Complaint Overview

As of Jan. 1, 2016, the CFPB has handled 790,000 complaints nationally. Some of the highlights from the statistics in this month’s snapshot report include:

  • Complaint volume. For December 2015, the three most-complained-about financial products were credit reporting, debt collection, and mortgages, together representing slightly over two-thirds—68 percent—of complaints submitted.
  • Product trends (mostly prepaid products from one company).


The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the CFPB, established consumer complaint handling as an integral part of the CFPB’s work. The CFPB began accepting complaints as soon as it opened its doors in July 2011. It currently accepts complaints on many consumer financial products, including credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, private student loans, vehicle and other consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection, and payday loans.

In June 2012, the CFPB launched its Consumer Complaint Database, which is the nation’s largest public collection of consumer financial complaints. When consumers submit a complaint they have the option to share publicly their explanation of what happened. For more individual-level complaint data and to read consumers' experiences, go to the Consumer Complaint Database at: www.consumerfinance.gov/complaintdatabase/