With a value exceeding $10 trillion, the American mortgage market is the world's biggest, so it's not surprising that it would garner its fair share of complaints. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just released a roundup of the most common mortgage-related complaints from April. The Bureau, which helps to ensure that mortgage lenders only lend to folks who have a realistic chance of repaying, has fielded more than 223,000 mortgage-related complaints since its inception. Despite the introduction of consumer-friendly mortgage forms that help eliminate last-minute surprises, the public still has a lot to get off its chest when it comes to dealing with mortgage servicers.
Here are the top items reported by the CFPB, from across the nation and also focused on the California market.
1. Payment Issues
The biggest group of complaints centered around difficulties consumers experienced when they were having trouble making their mortgage payments. One pet peeve was having to repeatedly resubmit the same documents during a protracted loss mitigation review process. Consumers also complained about receiving confusing and conflicting notifications regarding foreclosure proceedings.
2. Loan Transfers
Mortgages are frequently transferred to different servicers over the life of the loan, and consumers complained about a lack of information when their mortgages were transferred. This led to consumers not receiving credit for loan payments that were sent to the previous mortgage servicer by mistake due to the lack of timely information.
3. Faulty Communication
According to a large number of complaints fielded by the CFPB, consumers often fared poorly when trying to communicate with mortgage servicers. Consumers' criticisms included the inability to get ahold of their servicers, receiving garbled or incorrect information, and finding it hard to receive requested clarifications. These types of issues often resulted in unnecessary delays when trying to resolve loan problems.
4. Mortgage Servicers With The Most Complaints In The U.S.
The largest number of complaints received between November 2015 and January 2016 named Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
California was the CFPB's spotlight state for April. Residents of the state have submitted more than 118,900 complaints to the CFPB, and almost half came from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Some interesting facts about complaints from California include the following:
5. Mortgages Receive The Most Complaints
The most complained-about financial products in California were mortgages, accounting for 32 percent of the total submitted to the CFPB versus only 26 percent nationwide.
6. Debt Collectors Are Better Behaved In California
The nation as a whole submits 26 percent of its complaints to the CFPB about debt collection, but that subject accounted for only 24 percent of California-based complaints.
7. Worst Mortgage Servicers In California
At the top of the consumer complaint list were Experian, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.