Big thanks to real estate journalist Ken Harney for digging into some of the numbers put out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — that is, the federal agency tasked with enforcing financial laws concerning banks, credit unions, and other financial companies, and dealing with consumer complaints.
Harney found that the CFPB received 60,000 complaints from homeowners in 2013 alone. Major issues included “messed-up escrow accounts, botched transfers of accounts, payment amount disputes, short-sale foulups, loan modifications and foreclosures,” and more.
I’m no numbers maven, but the number of zeros in that analysis can’t help but remind us that plenty of homeowners are still living with rotten mortgages that they or their bank rushed into during the heady days of rocketing real estate prices.
As for whether complaining to the CFPB gets you anywhere, don’t miss Harney’s account of how at least one homeowner succeeded in avoiding foreclosure by providing evidence of unethical behavior by the broker of a reverse mortgage.
And if you’re a homeowner at risk of foreclosure, be sure to see the relevant section of Nolo’s online encyclopedia.