The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received 2,300 mortgage complaints in the month of December, and 38 percent of them pertained to loan modifications and foreclosures; and according to recent reports, those complaints do not go unanswered.
The CFPB has received in total almost 10,000 complaints since opening its hotline in July, on issues as diverse as payday loans, student loans, credit cards and other financial products, and the agency has stated that implicated companies responded to 88 percent of complaints, and nearly 50 percent received relief of some kind.
According to a semi-annual report from the CFPB that HousingWire cited in a recent article, of the 889 aforementioned mortgage complaints, 501 were regarding escrow accounts, loan servicing and making payments.
Coincidentally, the influx of foreclosure complaints corresponded with a partnership between the CFPB and the Special Inspector General of TARP, along with the Treasury Department, to target scams involving applicants for the Home Affordable Modification Program.
According to the HousingWire piece, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that his agency had already begun assessing the policies of several financial firms, though he did also say at an earlier hearing with Senate Republicans that he would straddle a fine line between enforcement and the functionality of the financial sector.
“I think it is irresponsible to think you can protect consumers while killing off institutions,” he had said.
Intent notwithstanding, from President Obama’s newly-announced Mortgage Task Force and the CFPB’s own inquiries into PHH Corp. and appraisal management firms, 2012 seems to be a year of reinvigorated investigation.