Bank and Credit Product Complaints
Report problems with your bank, financial institution, lender, or broker. To guide you through the process of filing these types of complaints, the Federal Reserve offers consumer help and the following tips:
- Contact the branch manager, the customer service hotline, or the institution's website.
- Explain your problem and how you would like the bank to resolve it. Use this sample complaint letter for tips on what to include in your complaint.
- Provide copies of receipts, checks, or other proof of the transaction.
If the bank doesn't help, get help from the correct regulatory agency.
Complaints About Deposit Accounts
Several government agencies regulate financial institutions. Find out which agency accepts complaints about the type of financial institution you need to file a complaint against.
Complaints About Other Financial Services
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) accepts complaints about most loan products. The CFPB also accepts complaints about other financial services, like credit cards and debt collection. File a complaint about investments with:
These agencies accept complaints about investment fraud and violations of securities laws.
Complaints About Mortgage Companies
If you have a complaint against a mortgage company, try to resolve it with the company first. Several government agencies accept complaints about mortgage lenders. In some cases, you should file your complaint with more than one agency, especially at the federal and state level.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforces the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This law prohibits lenders from denying credit because of certain characteristics. File a complaint with the CFPB if a lender has denied a mortgage application because of your:
- Sex (including gender)
- Marital status
- Nationality or ethnicity
- Income from public assistance programs
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act. This law prohibits discrimination when you rent, buy, or secure financing for a home. Your state may also have a similar law. File a complaint with HUD and the fair housing office in your state if a mortgage company discriminated against you because of your:
- National origin
- Presence of children
Mortgage Origination and Servicing
The CFPB enforces several laws, such as the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. These laws require lenders to disclose information to homebuyers before buying and over the life of the mortgage. File a complaint with the CFPB if you have a problem with a new or existing mortgage. Examples of common mortgage complaints include:
- Applying for a mortgage
- Receiving loan estimates and closing documents
- Transferring a mortgage to another servicer
- Applying your payments correctly
- Refinancing or modifying a mortgage loan
- Misreporting mortgage account status to you or to credit reporting agencies
- Requiring private mortgage insurance
- Paying additional fees
Deception and Scams
The Federal Trade Commission Act states that unfair and deceptive practices affecting commerce are unlawful. Report a mortgage company to the Federal Trade Commission if it makes deceptive statements, omits important facts, or takes misleading actions. Examples include:
- False statements about their ability to offer a loan
- Fees for mortgage services that aren’t provided
- Illegal tactics to collect on mortgage balances
Also, file a complaint with your state consumer protection office about a mortgage fraud or scam. Submit a complaint about a foreclosure scam with the HOPE NOW Alliance. Call 1-888-995-HOPE (1-888-995-4673) or (TTY 1-877-304-9709).
Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
Mandatory arbitration clauses are phrases written into contracts that state that if you have a dispute with a company, you must resolve it through arbitration. These clauses can prevent you from filing a lawsuit against a company. Arbitration clauses are fairly common in automotive, credit card, and cell phone contracts. But now, they are appearing in website terms and conditions statements, coupons, or corporate social media profiles. While arbitration can be less expensive, it is sometimes seen as unfair to make arbitration a requirement before a negative incident has happened or knowing how serious the problem is. Also, the decisions are binding, so you can’t appeal the decision, even if the company was severely negligent.
Before you sign a contract or even use a website, read the contract or terms of service for mentions of “arbitration”, “binding arbitration” or “resolution programs”; this language is often in the fine print of the contract and can be easily missed. Also, note that some companies may let you opt-out of these clauses, if you do so within 30 days.
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Last Updated: May 31, 2019