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Older Consumers Fret About Reverse Mortgages, Scam Recovery: CFPB

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau snapshot of monthly complaints by consumers aged 62 and older shows they frequently report servicing problems with reverse mortgages, difficulties recovering money after financial scams, confusion around deferred-interest credit cards, and charges for unauthorized add-on products such as credit monitoring services.

The snapshot provides an overview and analysis of more than 103,100 complaints submitted to the CFPB by consumers voluntarily reporting their age as 62 or older.                          

“Older consumers who may be on a fixed income are at a greater risk for financial trouble if they encounter problems with financial products or services,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in announcing the monthly complaint data. “The complaints submitted by older consumers are important for the Bureau to ensure we are properly looking out for this segment of the population.” 

Of the 1.16 million complaints the CFPB has handled since it began accepting complaints in July 2011, 54% of consumers have voluntarily reported their age.

More than 103,000 of the complaints have come from consumers who say they are 62 or older.

Of the complaints lodged in March, debt collection was the most complained about financial product or service by consumers older than 62. Of the 2,169 older consumer complaints handled in March, there were 496 complaints about debt collection. The second most complained about consumer product was mortgages, which accounted for 486 complaints. Credit reporting was the third most complained about financial product or service, accounting for 326 complaints. 

Complaints related to mortgages have accounted for 26% of all older consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB since 2011 – 10 percentage points higher than the proportion of mortgage complaints from consumers under 62. 

The most complaints hail from California, Florida and Texas, accounting for nearly one-fourth of all complaints from older consumers since July 2011. 

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