On October 3, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) v. Community Financial Services Association of America regarding the constitutionality of the agency’s independent funding structure. CFPB critics have long sought to limit the agency’s congressionally given autonomy and, by extension, its capacity to promote a fairer financial marketplace for all consumers. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case, which will come down next spring, could significantly harm consumers and spread uncertainty in the financial markets.
Since opening its doors 12 years ago, the CFPB has been a formidable advocate for everyday Americans, holding financial institutions accountable for predatory practices and returning $17.5 billion to wronged customers across the 50 states, including in Rhode Island.
A note on the CFPB’s complaint data
The information in this fact sheet is drawn from the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database. Individuals submit complaints about challenges they are facing on financial transactions, and the CFPB works on their behalf to contact financial institutions and businesses to get answers. In addition, the CFPB uses the database to better understand trends and potential harm to consumers, supervise companies, enforce federal consumer financial laws, and write better rules and regulations. Ninety-eight percent of complaints sent to companies by the CFPB receive timely responses.
All complaint data used in this fact sheet represent the total number of complaints over the period from December 1, 2011, to August 29, 2023. The data were last accessed in September 2023.
By the numbers: CFPB complaints in Rhode Island
Number of complaints received per 1,000 people
Total number of complaints that the CFPB took action on
Number of complaints from servicemembers that the CFPB took action on
Number of complaints from older Americans (62 and older) that the CFPB took action on
What kinds of complaints do consumers in Rhode Island seek help with?
Consumers select from a menu specifying both a product and an issue when filing complaints. The following are the top categories of complaints, and examples of issues associated with those complaints, on which consumers in Rhode Island request help:
Credit reporting, credit repair services, or other personal consumer reports: 3,215 complaints
- Examples of issues could include incorrect credit reporting about inquiries or payments, information errors on credit reports, credit report privacy concerns, predatory fees by credit repair services, and more.
Debt collection: 1,305 complaints
- Products could include medical, auto, credit card, student loan, and mortgage debt.
- Examples of issues could include attempts to collect debt not owed, debt that was paid off, debt disputes due to identity fraud, and more.
Mortgage: 1,304 complaints
- Products could include home mortgages, Federal Housing Administration and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mortgages, home equity loans, and reverse mortgages.
- Examples of issues could include payment process problems with autopay, escrow, taxes, and insurance; struggling to pay mortgages and foreclosures; and unfair fees and applications.
Credit card or prepaid card: 713 complaints
- Examples of products and issues could include credit cards, store cards, government benefit cards and others being opened or closed without permission, transaction errors, declined card usage, unfair fees, or application denials.
Checking or savings account: 520 complaints
- Complaints could include checking accounts and other banking products and services, including savings accounts and certificates of deposits.
- Examples of issues include fees, privacy concerns, accounts opened without permission, fraudulent transactions, and other considerations around managing an account related to deposits, withdrawals, ATM cards, and more.
Top 4 issues on which Rhode Island consumers have sought help across all financial products
- Incorrect information on the consumer’s credit report: 1,384
- Problem with a credit reporting company’s investigation into an existing problem: 906
- Improper use of the consumer’s credit report: 896
- Attempts to collect debt not owed: 494