In an annual report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday, March 31, 2014, the Bureau announced that it had received nearly double the number of consumer complaints in 2013 as compared to 2012. The report noted that 163,700 total complaints were brought to the Bureau’s attention in 2013, a jump from approximately 91,000 in 2012. The three most common complaints received by the Bureau concerned credit reporting, mortgage, and debt collection — with mortgages, including issues related to loan modifications, collections, or foreclosures, accounting for over 37 percent of the overall complaints. Debt collection complaints made up 19 percent of the total, whereas credit reporting accounted for approximately 15 percent of the complaints in 2013.

In an announcement on the CFPB’s website, the Bureau noted, “We began consumer response operations on July 21, 2011 as the nation’s first federal agency specifically mandated to protect American consumers in the financial marketplace. Every complaint we receive makes a difference. Complaints give us insight into what’s happening to consumers around the country, right now.” Since its inception, the CFPB has fielded more than 310,000 consumer complaints.

The CFPB also has expanded the subject areas for which it handles complaints. Today, the CFPB takes complaints about credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts, private student loan, vehicle and other consumer loans, and credit reporting. Industry observers expect the CFPB to continue this expansion as it begins to oversee money traders, debt collectors, and payday loans in 2014 — a noticeable trend in the CFPB’s ongoing efforts to reform the consumer financial services industry.