Revealed: the 10 Most-Complained-About Mortgage Companies

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its most recent snapshot of consumer complaints regarding financial companies in the U.S.

The new report shines a light on mortgage complaints in particular. It also provides a list of the most-complained-about mortgage companies in the United States, based on complaints filed from April to June 2015.

Mortgage Servicing Problems Are Common

The CFPB also categorizes mortgage complaints by type, in order to find out where the most common problems lie. Based on their findings, it seems that homeowners have a lot of problems with mortgage servicing in particular. (Mortgage servicers are the companies that handle the day-to-day managing of your home loan, after you’ve closed the deal with your lender.)

According to CFPB, servicing-related problems are most common during certain scenarios, such as when the homeowner applies for a mortgage loan modification in an attempt to avoid foreclosure.

The CFPB’s Office of Consumer Response maintains a public, online database of consumer complaints regarding all types of financial companies. Consumers can file a complaint through the CFPB website located at www.consumerfinance.gov.

Policing the Financial Services Industry

The watchdog agency has handled more than 192,000 mortgage complaints since its inception. That makes home loans the most frequently complained-about financial product, accounting for 27% of all complaints filed by U.S. consumers. (The agency also deals with consumer beefs relating to credit cards, student loans, debt collection, and other financial products.)

When a consumer submits a complaint on a financial services company, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will notify the company directly. Compared “are expected to respond to respond to complaints sent to them within 15 days.”

And make no mistake. We’re not just talking about a paperwork shuffle here. The CFPB has “teeth” given to it by the Dodd-Frank Act. A recent article in Time magazine called it “one of the most effective and feared regulators in Washington [D.C.].” The agency regularly imposes large fines against financial services companies that have wronged consumers. So clearly, it pays to stay on their good side.

The 10 Most-Complained-About Mortgage Companies

The table below shows the mortgage companies with the most complaints during the three-month period from April to June 2015. (Note: This is a partial list. The CFPB’s original report identified 19 companies in its “most-complained-about” list. Here, we have listed the 10 mortgage companies that had the most complaints of the 19 listed in the CFPB report.)

Company 3-month avg., April – June 2015
Wells Fargo 433
Bank of America 430
Ocwen 428
Nationstar Mortgage 353
JPMorgan Chase 269
Green Tree Servicing, LLC 240
Citibank 126
Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc 113
Seterus 89
U.S. Bancorp 81

According to Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency sees this as an ongoing issue that needs continued monitoring.

“Despite strong protections that have been put in place to protect homeowners, this month’s complaint report shows consumers are still having problems when dealing with their mortgages,” Cordray said. “The Bureau will continue to work to make sure that consumers are being treated fairly on their mortgage issues.”

How to Submit a Complaint to CFPB
Consumers can submit complaints about financial services company in several ways. They can do it online by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/, or by calling the CFPB toll free at 1-855-411-CFPB (2372). Their TTY/TDD phone number is 1-855-729-CFPB (2372). Letters can be mailed to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.