On July 16, 2015, the CFPB launched the first of what will be monthly reports highlighting trends in consumer complaints.
The Monthly Complaint Report uses a three-month rolling average to compare the current average to the same period in the prior year, and to account for monthly and seasonal fluctuations. For company-level complaint data, the three-month rolling average accounts for the 60 days a company has to respond to the complaint.
In the July report, the greatest uptick in complaints, determined from a three-month rolling average, involved consumer loans, with a 55% change year over year. This was followed by complaints involving credit reporting, payday loans, and student loans, at increases year over year of 27%, 26%, and 18%, respectively. Complaints related to debt collection and bank account or services fell 7% and 8%, respectively. Total consumer complaints increased by 8% from July 2014.
The largest number of complaints involved debt collection practices, at 32% of the total complaints, marking the 22nd consecutive month in the top place. Debt collection was followed by mortgage and credit reporting complaints in the second- and third-place positions. The monthly report also provided a spotlight on debt collection complaints, breaking the complaints into categories, and noting which states had the greatest increase in complaints. The spotlight on debt collection named the companies and the states with the most complaints or greatest change in complaint volume. Hawaii, West Virginia, and Maine experienced the greatest increase in complaints year over year.