AJC Watchdog: First Alert

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Mortgages top list of worst financial products in Georgia

Fed up with your mortgage company? You're not alone. Mortgages are the most-complained about financial product in the Atlanta area, says the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in a new report.

The bureau is highlighting Georgia in its latest snapshot of consumer concerns. It reports that of the 31,300 complaints it received from Georgia, a third concerned mortgages.

One such complaint concerned Atlanta-based Ocwen loan servicer, a company afflicted with a string of legal troubles. "I have been paying my mortgage by automatic bank draft...for over XXXX years now," one consumer told the bureau this spring. "However, Ocwen is saying they have not received payments from me and are threatening foreclosure. I have attached a copy of my payment history which shows I have been making payments..."

The bureau sends those complaints on to companies and works to get a response. It the company doesn't respond in 15 days, the bureau uses a form of public shaming: publishing the consumer complaint online. If the company does respond, its response is noted as well.

While mortgages top complaints, the company that Georgians complain about most is credit-reporting agency Equifax. The bureau has received 671 complaints about Equifax, most alleging incorrect information on credit reports. Also in the top five for complaints from Georgians are Bank of America (472 complaints), Experian (428), TransUnion (418), and Wells Fargo (418).

The bureau says it uses the complaints to identify inappropriate practices it will work to stop. Here's a link for submitting complaints: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/



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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.