Consumers in Minority Counties Filing Disproportionately More CFPB Complaints

Consumers from predominantly minority counties submitted more complaints on a per capita basis than consumers in other counties, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“In 2020, consumers living in predominately minority counties submitted more complaints on a per capita basis in nearly every product category about which the CFPB accepts complaints,” the agency said, in an analysis of its complaint records.

Agency officials also said that if complaint volume trends continue, the CFPB will receive more than one million complaints in 2021—more than twice the number it handled in 2020 and more than any previous year.

The report shows that “while all people across the nation face financial hardships, a significantly higher rate of complaints come from ethnically diverse communities,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said, in releasing the report. “The data raise concerns that deserve our further study and, as such, we’ll keep a spotlight on patterns or any abuses we see.”

In the report, the CFPB said that credit or consumer reporting appears to cause significantly more problems for consumers in minority counties. People in those counties also faced more issues with debt collection, the CFPB said. The most common debt collection complaint was about attempts to collect debts the consumer said were not owed. Consumers also reported that debt collection problems were the result of identity theft.

Agency officials said they intend to update the consumer complaint form on its website to create a new demographic section that gives consumers the option to provide household size and income. “These enhancements will help the CFPB to better understand who submits complaints today and how that changes over time,” agency officials said.

Related:

CFPB April 2021 Complaint Bulletin: County-level demographic overview of consumer complaints

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