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Florida consumers with financial challenges heard by government

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Board a few years ago gave consumers a federal agency to which they could voice their complaints. Florida residents with financial challenges helped to make it number four on the list of states with the most consumer complaints.

Mortgage lenders and servicers are well represented in terms of the number of consumer complaints filed against them. Almost 30 percent of the total complaints filed with the CFPB since its inception have been from homeowners trying to prevent foreclosure or seeking modification of their loans who complained about their lenders or servicers.

The highest percentage of consumer complaints concerns debt collection agencies and the tactics used to recover credit card debt, medical debt and other types of consumer debt. The purpose behind the CFPB complaint process is to provide a voice for consumers.

Complaints are forwarded to the debt collectors or other companies for their comments. Sometimes, the company against whom the complaint was filed voluntarily resolves the problems. The federal agency reported that companies responded to the complaints in 90 percent of the cases.

Filing a complaint might help to resolve some debt issues, but the CFPB reports that it is rare for problems related to mortgages or debt collection to be taken care of by the companies. Consumers who are overwhelmed by debt and in need of a fresh start might consider consulting with a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney.

Someone who has been unable to keep up with payments toward credit card debt or who has been forced to fall behind on mortgage payments might think they are out of options. However, consumer debtors could have financial management issues for which an attorney might be able to suggest solutions.

Source: USA Today, “Mortgages, debt collectors top list of consumer complaints,” Russ Wiles, Oct. 11, 2015

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