CFPB files second Semi-Annual Report

by Ballard Spahr LLP

[author: Barbara S. Mishkin]

The CFPB has issued its second Semi-Annual Report to the President and Congress covering the CFPB’s activities from January 1 through June 30, 2012. While much of the report recycles information previously released by the CFPB, it does contain a few noteworthy items. 

The report discusses consumer complaints received by the CFPB between July 21, 2011 and June 30, 2012. In April 2012, the CFPB issued its first Consumer Response Annual Report to Congress which covered complaints received through December 31, 2011. As of December 31, credit card and mortgage complaints accounted for 77% of all complaints received by the CFPB. For credit card complaints, billing disputes continued to be the most common complaint topic and for mortgages, making payments (servicing, payments, escrow) or problems when the consumer is unable to pay (loan modification, collection, foreclosure) remained the most common types of complaints. However, while those topics constituted nearly 60% of all mortgage complaints as of December 31, they were nearly 80% of all mortgage complaints as of June 30. 

Since the CFPB began taking complaints about deposit products, student loans and other consumer loans as of March 1, 2012, such complaints were not part of the CFPB’s April report. The latest report indicates that as of June 30, deposit account complaints represented 15% of all complaints received, with student loans and consumer loans representing, respectively, 4% and 2% of all complaints. (2% of all complaints dealt with unspecified “other” issues.) 

For deposit accounts, the most common complaint topics (41%) dealt with opening, closing or managing the account and involved issues such as confusing marketing, denial, disclosure, fees, closure, interest, statements and joint accounts. The most common student loan complaint topic (65%) involved repaying the loan, such as fees, billing, deferment, forbearance, fraud and credit reporting. Consumer loan complaints were most often (48%) about managing the loan, lease or line of credit and involved issues such as billing, late fees, damage or loss, insurance (GAP, credit), credit reporting and privacy. 

In the enforcement arena, the report states that “investigations currently underway span the full breadth of the Bureau’s enforcement jurisdiction. Further detail about ongoing investigations will not generally be made public by the Bureau until a public enforcement action is filed.” 

With regard to the CFPB itself, the agency grew from about 750 employees as of December 31 to 889 as of June 30. In fiscal year 2011, the CFPB spent $123.3 million. So far in fiscal year 2012, through June 30, the CFPB has spent $247 million, with the CFPB’s Division of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending spending the most ($62.8 million) of any division or program area other than “centralized services.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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