CFPB Releases Monthly Complaint Report Highlighting Older Consumers

On May 31, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its monthly complaint report, this month highlighting complaints submitted by older consumers. The report shows that older consumers frequently report servicing problems with reverse mortgages, difficulties recovering money after financial scams, confusion regarding deferred interest credit cards, and charges for unauthorized add-on products.

While some consumer issues older consumers describe are similar to those raised by their younger counterparts, other issues occur exclusively in the older consumer population (e.g., problems with reverse mortgages). There are other issues where, although the underlying problem occurs in both older and younger populations, the consequences for older consumers are different or exacerbated because of age (e.g., financial limitations due to fixed income).

Older consumers complained that their mortgage escrow payments and analysis statements did not accurately reflect the benefits of tax relief programs offered by taxing authorities. Even after providing verification of lower taxing rates, older consumers complained that loan servicers delayed completing escrow account adjustments. Older consumers are also more likely to be confused by mortgage servicing transfers, particularly for those who had the same mortgage servicer for many years.

Older consumers also reported using credit cards when they experienced a large, unanticipated financial expenses. These consumers often reported not understanding the terms and conditions of these accounts, such as the distinction between deferred interest and no interest, and were confused by the balances reflected in these accounts months after the expenses were charged.

Some older consumers complained about being billed for subscriptions they did not want or need. These involved recurring charges, such as monthly fees for credit monitoring. Some reported paying for such unwanted services for many months before being alerted to the charge by a family member or trusted third party.

The complete monthly complaint report can be found here:  http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201705_cfpb_Monthly_Complaint_Report.pdf

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