Consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were up 31% in the first five months of 2020, compared with the same period last year, and many of these new
Consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were up 31% in the first five months of 2020, compared with the same period last year, and many of these new complaints specifically mention the coronavirus crisis.
The CFPB relays consumer complaints about loans, credit cards, bank accounts and other financial products to financial institutions. For people who are dissatisfied or otherwise frustrated with their direct interaction with a financial company, this complaint process can offer recourse, often within a few weeks. During a nationwide financial crisis, it stands to reason, these frustrations would run high.
On March 4, the CFPB received its first complaint mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic. That first complaint was about canceled travel and the inability to get a refund despite global travel warnings. Over roughly the next three months, through May 31, the cutoff date used in this analysis, the agency received 1,309 complaints mentioning the pandemic.
Our analysis looked at all complaints filed with the CFPB from Jan. 1 through May 31, 2020, and posted to its database by June 1 at 9 a.m. EDT. These complaints are not necessarily representative of consumer experiences as a whole, but they tell interesting stories of hardship in uncharted financial territory.
In the first five months of 2020, the CFPB received 142,782 complaints, 31% more than in the first five months of 2019.
Complaint narratives hint at financial strain causes
When someone files a complaint with the CFPB, they go through a series of multiple-choice selections and enter a narrative describing their gripe. That narrative can be made public, if the complainant consents, giving us the opportunity to mine those narratives for certain words, sentiments and overall trends. If they don’t consent, the complaint basics ” such as financial product, issue and associated company ” are still published, minus the detailed description. Of the complaints filed through May 31, 2020, just 33% were published with a narrative.
By searching those narratives for words including “covid,” “coronavirus” and a handful of related terms, we found 1,309 complaints specifically mentioning the pandemic. Although only a small portion of published complaints included a public narrative, considering the rise in overall complaints, it’s likely many of the others were also related to the financial impacts of the pandemic.
Among all complaints with narratives, those mentioning job loss, unemployment or a related set of synonyms were up 34% when compared with the same period last year.
Mortgage, credit card and credit reporting complaints most common
Having “incorrect information on your credit report” was the most commonly cited complaint issue in the first five months of 2020 and 2019. But among 2020 complaints explicitly mentioning “covid” or related terms, “struggling to pay mortgage” is the top issue ” accounting for 16% of that subset.
Among pandemic-related complaints, more than one-quarter (26%) are tagged with “mortgage” as the primary financial product. In reading through those labeled as mortgage complaints, we found many consumers frustrated with the lack of relief provided by mortgage forbearance offers. Namely, the consumers were unhappy that lenders required full repayments of delayed installments ” known as a balloon payment ” at the conclusion of the forbearance period.
Take action: Borrowers seeking mortgage forbearance may be able to negotiate different terms with their lender if a balloon payment isn’t feasible. Some lenders may allow repayment of the forbearance amount across several months or tack it onto the end of the loan term, though this isn’t always the case. Loan modification is another relief tool. It restructures your mortgage terms entirely.
The second most commonly cited financial product in coronavirus-related complaints are credit or prepaid cards, accounting for 23%. Combing through complaints tagged with credit cards we found many people frustrated by credit card issuers closing inactive accounts with no warning.
Take action: Having a credit card canceled unexpectedly can eliminate one source of emergency funding in tough financial times. Unfortunately, credit card issuers aren’t required to notify account holders before closing an inactive account. Occasionally using a credit card for a tank of gas or a trip to the grocery store can be enough to keep the account open and available when you need it most.
“Credit reporting, credit repair services or other personal consumer reports” is the third most common financial product category complained about in coronavirus-related narratives. Generally, these products are the most commonly complained about throughout the year, and while they account for just 20% of those explicitly citing the pandemic, they are 60% of the total complaints filed so far in 2020.
Reading through the narratives, we found many complaints centered on accounts being reported delinquent to credit bureaus despite being in forbearance or another payment modification program. Delinquent accounts on your credit report can make it more difficult to access new or increased lines of credit. Under the terms of the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress in March, participation in loan forbearances or other creditor hardship programs should not negatively impact the credit of someone whose account is otherwise in good standing.
Take action: When working with financial institutions, it’s important to ask explicitly whether suspended or late payments will be reported to the credit bureaus and to keep an eye on your credit reports for errors in the months afterward. Because of the pandemic, the CFPB has extended the time credit bureaus have to resolve such errors from 30 to 45 days.
Using the statistical programming language R and Google Sheets, we analyzed consumer complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by the date a complaint was received. The full complaint database was downloaded at 9 a.m. EDT on June 1, 2020. Because complaints aren’t published on the database until a company responds (or 15 days after initial receipt, whichever comes first), complaints received before our cutoff date of May 31, 2020, will continue to be added to the database in months to come, so the totals will change.
Single complaint records could be duplicate issues, filed by a single consumer more than once. Because the complaints are anonymized, we did not account for this.
When searching for complaints specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic, we searched for the following terms: “coronavirus,” “covid,” “pandemic” and “quarantine.” When searching for complaints specifically related to job loss, we searched for the following terms: “unemployment,” “unemployed,” “job loss,” “laid off” and “lost job.” All searches ignored letter case.
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Elizabeth Renter is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @elizabethrenter.
Kansans Named the 2020 National Leader in Identity Thefts
Recent statistics on identity theft reveal that identity theft reports doubled in 2020, with Kansas ranking first for the number of reports.
The increase in the number of reported identity theft cases is linked to the pandemic, as the majority of the reported cases concern unemployment benefits. The number of such cases in Kansas was higher than any other state: Over 38,000 Kansans had their identity stolen to submit fraudulent unemployment claims.
According to Amber Shultz, the acting secretary of the Kansas Department of Labor, these false unemployment claims exploded in numbers at the beginning of July – more than 35% of the applications were found to be fraudulent.
The department also stated that the trend was visible across the US and tried to combat it by implementing a three-day hold on claims and verifying each claim before approving it. However, with the number of claims exceeding 1 million, discerning which were legitimate was a challenging task. According to Attorney General Derek Schmidt, this has unfortunately caused a loss of millions of taxpayers’ money.
As the pandemic continues, identity theft is expected to remain a threat, so it is crucial to have some preventive measures set in place, from shredding important papers to setting stronger passwords on personal accounts. Relying on identity theft protection services is another good idea, as these can monitor the web for a specific set of data and keep individuals safe online.
However, for those who fear that their identity has been compromised, the recommended route is to inform the Federal Trade Commission and then place a fraud alert with any of the three credit bureaus. Informing financial institutions should be the next step. If repairing the identity theft damage is too time-consuming, there is the option of hiring one of the credit repair companies to handle the task.
Credit Repair Services Market Research Report, Growth Trends and Competitive Analysis 2021-2027 – Clark County Blog
Based on the Region:
• North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)
• Europe (Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy)
• Asia Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia)
• South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, etc.)
• Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa)
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Some Points from TOC
Chapter 1 Market Overview
Chapter 2 Company Profiles
Chapter 3 Market Competition by Players
Chapter 4 Market Size Segment by Type
Chapter 5 Market Size Segment by Application
Chapter 6 North America by Country, Type, and Application
Chapter 7 Europe by country, type and application
Chapter 8 Asia Pacific by Region, Type, and Application
Chapter 9 South America by Country, Type and Application
Chapter 10 Middle East and Africa by Country, Type, and Application
Chapter 11 Research Findings and Conclusions
Chapter 12 Appendix
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Dustin Aab on the power of working hard to achieve success
The more closely we look around us, the more we get nearer to reality where so many individuals work with a certain grit, commitment and dedication to achieve what their hearts desire.
These individuals are the ones that not only work to attain their set goals in their career but also help others in their journeys. Talking about the sales and consulting business, which is growing each passing day across nations as professionals from various industries aim to get nearer their visions and aspirations in business, we can notice the boom in this niche; thanks to professional entrepreneurs like Dustin Aab.
Based out of California, Dustin Aab is a leading American entrepreneur, who excels in sales and consulting and has been shaping the careers of hundreds of people through his astute skills and knowledge as a true professional in the industry. It was seven years ago that Dustin Aab had started his career in the sales arena and from the past six years owns his sales company, under which he is working with the mission to turn the desires and dreams of professionals into reality through his mentorship and coaching in sales.
Dustin Aab’s sales and consulting business is all about providing the best of the industry products and services that help individuals change their financial status and situation. His life has been full of challenges, but Dustin Aab very early had realized the power of working hard and putting in every possible effort to make a successful career; hence, after working so hard for years, he has been able to create the financial freedom he wanted by becoming an entrepreneur. He hopes to change as many lives as he can in his career and take people nearer to their definition of success. He does sales mentorship and consulting for not just individuals, but companies as well.
Some of the specific services he offers through his company include Real estate, amazon automation, sales training mentorship, credit repair, Instagram growth and branding, life insurance and solar.
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