Mortgages, debt collectors top list of consumer complaints

Americans don’t like being in debt.

Aside from the obvious drawback of having to pay back the money, debt can entail various other problems, from being treated poorly by lenders to failing to understand the terms of a loan.

That’s one takeaway from a growing body of complaint data compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The relatively young federal agency, created in 2011 in the aftermath of the recession and financial-market meltdown, has been compiling complaints for just over four years. Debt problems consistently dominate the list of gripes, though the mix is changing.

Three types of debt issues are paramount. Mortgages still rank as a sore spot, accounting for 27.4% of the nearly 703,000 complaints received by the bureau since tracking started in July 2011. Those numbers extend through August of this year.

The prevalence of mortgage complaints isn’t surprising after the housing bust several years ago. Some of these problems still focus around foreclosures and loan modifications. Other mortgage issues are less obvious, such as consumers complaining that lenders won’t accept anything but the full amount owed or didn’t apply payments properly.

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