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Fact Sheet: The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database Shines a Light on the Financial Services Industry

Since 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been protecting consumers from the pitfalls of the financial marketplace. One of the CFPB’s singular achievements has been the creation of its complaint database, where consumer feedback about financial products and services is collected and made public. Consumers can post narratives to fully describe their experiences with financial products and services. Over a million people have filed complaints with the CFPB. In 2016, the top complaints were about debt collection (30%), credit reporting (19%), and mortgages (18%). Consumers frequently complained about debt collection efforts over debt that the consumer did not owe, credit reporting errors, or difficulties experienced when submitting mortgage payments. After the complaint is filed with the CFPB, approximately 97% receive a quick response from the company. Many of the consumers have received monetary relief.

Despite this good outcome for consumers, the financial services industry has fought tooth and nail against the creation and expansion of the CFPB database. The banking industry has peddled a lot of misinformation about the database that falls apart under scrutiny. Here are some facts about the complaint database.