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Freedom Mortgage Has Biggest Jump in Complaints

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Mortgage complaints have risen at a faster pace than complaints for all financial services, and Freedom Mortgage Corp. had the biggest increase.

During the first three months of this year, consumers filed an average of 23,508 complaints per month against firms that provide financial services.

The latest total was up from the 21,619 monthly average as of the three months that ended on Feb. 29 and the 21,380 average one year previous.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the data in its April 2016 Monthly Complaint Report.

Mortgage complaints during the latest three-month period averaged 4,603 per month.

That was more than the 4,211 average in the prior report and the 3,800 average in the year-earlier report.

Average mortgage complaint growth continues to out pace overall complaints, with a year-over-year rise of
21 percent versus just 10 percent for total complaints.

But more recently, the increase in mortgage complaints was less than for overall complaint. The CFPB indicated that just during March, mortgage complaints were up 13 percent from February compared to a 17 percent rise for total complaints.

Wells Fargo & Co. –the nation’s biggest mortgage originator and servicer — had the most average monthly mortgage complaints:
421.

Mortgage complaints by company are for the period started on Nov. 1, 2015, and
ended on Jan. 31, 2016 — allowing lenders 60 days to respond.

No. 2 Bank of America Corp. had an average of 319 mortgage complaints.

Ocwen Financial Corp. had 300 average complaints. But Ocwen’s monthly average was down 26 percent from a year earlier — the biggest year-over-year improvement of the top-25 companies. The decline reflects Ocwen’s massive sales of mortgage servicing rights.

In the No. 4 position was Nationstar Mortgage with a monthly average of 261 complaints.

With 228 average mortgage complaints, JPMorgan Chase & Co. landed in the fifth spot.

After that was Ditech Financial LLC’s 155; Select Portfolio Servicing Inc.’s 100; Citibank, N.A.’s, 93; Seterus Inc.’s 92; and U.S Bancorp’s 66.

Freedom Mortgage had an average of 28 monthly mortgage complaints during the latest three-month
period. That was 236 percent worse than a year earlier — the biggest increase of any of the top-25 lenders.

Since July 21, 2011, the CFPB said it has
handled approximately 223,100 mortgage complaints — the second-most of any category and more than a quarter of all complaints.

Just over half of all mortgage complaints were related to problems when borrowers are unable to pay. Nearly a third involved making payments, and 8 percent were tied to loan applications.

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