Mortgage is top CFPB complaint category among older consumers

by Francis Monfort18 Oct 2017
Mortgages are the leading source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau among consumers 62 years old and older, according to a report by the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Frontier Group.

Consumers in this age group made 72,000 complaints to the CFPB about mortgages, accounting for 31% of all complaints from the group.

Of mortgage-related complaints, more than 80% were about existing mortgages, while 5% were related to reverse mortgages. Problems reported by older consumers related to reverse mortgages included trouble keeping up with property taxes and other payments and trouble accessing credit.

Mortgage was followed by credit reporting and debt collection as the top CFPB complaint categories among older consumers, both at 17% of overall complaints.

US PIRG said that pending legislation may cripple the CFPB and place older consumers at greater risk. The bill, HR 10 or the Financial Choice Act, has passed the House and is awaiting Senate action. According to US PIRG, the bill would roll back the CFPB’s powers, funding, and independence as well as weaken its Office for Older Americans.

“The Consumer Bureau has already taken numerous major enforcement actions against financial firms targeting older consumers,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at US PIRG. “Gutting the CFPB makes it easier for financial scammers to move against older consumers, threatening their homes and retirement savings.”

Critics of the CFPB, however, say that reducing its authority is a necessary step. The agency, they say, is not accountable enough to Congress or the president.

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