The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest monthly complaint snapshot features consumer credit card complaints. According to the snapshot, consumers continue to complain most about difficulties disputing charges on their credit cards. The March 2017 report (Vol. 21) also highlights trends seen in complaints coming from Massachusetts and the Boston metro area.
"Credit cards are a vital financial tool used daily by more than half of all adults in this country," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Consumers deserve clear guidance and need to be able to resolve problems that arise with their cards."
Spotlight on credit cards. The CFPB began accepting credit card complaints from consumers when the bureau opened its doors in July 2011. As of March 1, 2017, the CFPB had handled approximately 116,200 credit card complaints. According to the snapshot, consumers specifically complain about:
- being billed for charges that were not initiated by them or other authorized users on their accounts;
- issues with taking advantage of offered benefits after meeting requirements of bonus points programs, miles programs, cash back programs, and travel benefits programs; and
- credit card accounts being opened fraudulently in their names even after an alert was placed on their credit files.
The companies with the most credit card-related complaints are Citibank, Capital One, and JPMorgan Chase, the bureau reported.
National overview. Some of the findings from national statistics published in this month’s snapshot report include the following:
For February 2017, debt collection was the most-complained-about financial product or service, followed by credit reporting, and mortgages.
- Student loan complaints showed the greatest increase of any product or service in a year-to-year comparison examining the three-month time period of December to February;
- Montana, Georgia, and Missouri experienced the greatest year-to-year complaint volume increases from December 2016 to February 2017 versus the same time period 12 months before.
Spotlight on Massachusetts. As of March 1, 2017, consumers in Massachusetts have submitted 20,600 of the 1,136,000 complaints the CFPB has handled. Of those complaints, 15,400 came from consumers in the Boston metro area. According to the snapshot:
- Complaints related to debt collection accounted for 20 percent of all complaints submitted by consumers from Massachusetts, lower than the national rate of 27 percent.
- Consumers in Massachusetts submitted complaints about mortgages at about the national average.
- The most complained-about companies by Massachusetts consumers are Bank of America, Citibank, and Experian.
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