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BofA Has Worst Mortgage Complaint Record

CFPB reports over 50k mortgage complaints received

March 28, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

A database of complaints against mortgage lenders has been made public. Even though Bank of America Corp. is not the biggest mortgage lender or servicer, borrowers have filed more mortgage complaints about the company than any other mortgage firm. The biggest mortgage lender exhibited far more favorable metrics.

As of March 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that it has received more than 90,000 complaints against financial services companies. Including complaints referred to other regulators, 130,000 complaints were received.

More than 50,000 of the complaints were made against mortgage companies including conventional lenders, reverse mortgage lenders and lenders that provide home-equity loans and home-equity lines of credit.

The oldest filing was from December 2011.

Data on customer complaints was maintained for around 450 companies. The regulator said that more than 1 million data points were tracked.

"Complaints are listed in the database only after the company responds to the complaint or after they have had the complaint for 15 days, whichever comes first," a CFPB statement said. "Importantly, while the allegations in the complaint are not verified, a commercial relationship between the consumer and the company is substantiated before the complaint is added to the database."

A prepared statement for CFPB Director Richard Cordray at the Consumer Response Field Hearing Thursday in Des Moine, Iowa, stressed that the troubles of real people are behind each complaint and proclaimed that the expanded data is "the largest collection of complaint data on federal consumer financial products and services ever made public."

Mortgage complaints against BofA numbered 15,138 -- more than any other company, according to a Mortgage Daily analysis of the CFPB's expanded Consumer Complaint Database.

BofA's share of complaints was disproportionate with its market share. While the Charlotte, N.C.-based company was responsible for around 30 percent of all mortgage complaints, it only accounted for 4 percent of all residential originations during 2012, while it serviced just 14 percent of all home loans as of Dec. 31, 2012.

BofA didn't immediately respond to a request for an explanation why its share of complaints was so high.

Wells Fargo & Co. -- which was the biggest lender last year with a 28 percent market share and the biggest servicer with a 19 percent share of the servicing market -- accounted for just 16 percent of all CFPB complaints.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s complaint share was proportionate to its market share. It was the subject of 10 percent of all mortgage complaints, while its share of the origination market was also 10 percent and its share of the servicing market was 11 percent.

Even though Ocwen's share of mortgage servicing finished last year at just over 1 percent, it accounted for more than 5 percent of CFPB complaints. Homeward Residential, which has been acquired by Ocwen, had less a 1 percent share of the servicing market while it generated nearly 2 percent of mortgage complaints.

Most of the other mortgage firms that were among the 10 biggest generators of complaints had complaint shares that were similar to their market shares.

Company Share of Complaints Origination Market Share 2012 Mortgage Servicing Market Share as of 12/31/12
Citibank 5% 3% 4%
Nationstar Mortgage 3% <1% 2%
HSBC 2% na 1%
Green Tree Servicing 2% na na
OneWest Bank 2% na 1%
SunTrust Bank 2% 2% 2%

The CFPB chief addressed parties who oppose the public release of complaint data.

"For those who have criticized our database and suggested that this information should be suppressed, we would respond in the words of that noted consumer advocate, Justice Louis Brandeis," Cordray stated. "As he once wrote for the Supreme Court, for those 'with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning,' in responding to concerns raised about possible falsehoods and fallacies of information, 'the remedy is more speech, not enforced silence.'"

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