The federal consumer watchdog agency in charge of ensuring that borrowers don’t run into any difficulties with their finances recently put a searchable database of complaints into place, and has once again updated it to be more functional and include a larger amount of information.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced that it has expanded the number of complaints it published in its database to more than 113,000, up from the previous 90,000, and also made the details of those complaints searchable on a state-by-state basis. Previously, it had been possible to search for complaints based on ZIP code, but the expansion may provide users with more information about where problems tend to arise.
“This data puts valuable information in the hands of consumers to help them understand what is happening in their states,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray. “And by adding credit reporting and money transfer complaints to the Consumer Complaint Database, we are making these important markets more transparent and accountable to all consumers.”
For instance, New Hampshire leads the nation in per-capita complaints about mortgages, with Maryland, the District of Columbia, Georgia and Florida rounding out the top five, the report said. Washington, D.C., was also at the top of the list in complaints about both credit cards and bank accounts or services, while Delaware was No. 2 on both lists. Maryland, New York and New Jersey were also in the top five for credit card complaints, and New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maryland were in the same positions for bank account and service complaints.
Further, the CFPB also added an additional 6,000 complaints specifically about problems related to credit reporting to its databases in the most recent update, the report said. This makes all complaints received through the end of October 2012 available online. Those received typically fall into five categories: incorrect information being listed on these documents, problems with investigations by reporting companies, improper use of credit reports, inability to obtain reports or scores, and problems with services related to reports, such as monitoring or identity theft protection.
Consumers who want to protect their finances should always try to keep a close eye on financial documents including credit reports, monthly credit card bills and bank statements, to determine whether there are any issues that may be having a negative impact on their standings.