Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Rich folks whine more about their mortgages

Although poorer homebuyers have been hit hardest by foreclosures and mortgage abuses, a larger number of complaints are coming from richer folks.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 14, 2013 12:37PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyFor consumers, the public face of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is surely its popular complaint service. The Washington Post tried to find out who uses the service most to complain about mortgages.

Toy house sitting on money © Vstock, Tetra Images, CorbisHere's what the Post learned: Although poorer homebuyers have been hit hardest by foreclosures and mortgage abuses, the loudest complaints are coming from residential areas with the highest median incomes.

The Post writes, "A new analysis shows that people in wealthy neighborhoods complain a lot more about all aspects of the mortgage process, from brokers to servicers to underwriters."

The CFPB doesn't identify those who complain. But their ZIP codes are available.

Upper incomes were the squeaky wheels

The Post used consultants from Deloitte to analyze the frequency of complaints from various locations. Households in the top 25% of U.S. incomes generated 30% of complaints. The bottom 25% of incomes generated only 21% of complaints. Also, older people filed the most reports of mortgage problems.

The reasons for these differences are anyone's guess. The bureau wouldn't speculate. The Post offers some guesses, though:

  • Wealthy people are thought to have easier access to the Internet. (However, the bureau does take complaints by fax and phone.)
  • The rich may have more time to complain.
  • Affluent people may feel more entitled to help.

Complaints get action

"The more likely explanation is that word of the complaints database -- and those of other regulators that feed into the CFPB's -- has simply penetrated further in wealthy communities," the Post says.

You can see data on the complaints filed -- about what, against whom, whether they were resolved -- here, at the CFPB.

Rich or poor, you'd do well to take your complaints to the CFPB, says Laura Murray of the consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG. She explains here how to use the complaint process to your advantage. Also, CNBC wrote:

"The vast majority of complaints do get a response," said Laura Murray, with U.S. PIRG's Education Fund. "Approximately 1 in 3 got some sort of tangible relief."

File your complaint

You can file a complaint online or by phone, at (855) 411-2372, even during the government shutdown, about:

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has tracked 19,000 complaints about banks from consumers since it began keeping data in March 2012 and the overwhelming majority of gripes -- 78% -- center on issues with checking accounts," writes Pittsburgh Business Times.

The bureau says it reviews all complaints. It contacts the company you complain about and tries to get your problem resolved. It lets you know what to expect next. You can check the progress of your complaint online.

More on Money Talks News:

Oct 14, 2013 1:40PM
I filed a complaint against the Bank where I had my checking and savings account.   When I paid OFF a personal loan through them, they showed it as in DEFAULT and not paid........ruined my credit, and subsequently raised all my interest rates on my credit cards..    I filed a complaint because they would not resolve the problem!    I WON!    Woohee......I have NEVER seen a Bank get so mad, they had to PAY ME back interest for all my loans that had interest rates raised, and FIX my credit report....     File that complaint!   You may just win.  
Oct 14, 2013 1:45PM
What a lopsided and biased article. This isn't reporting, it is a speculative editorial. Maybe those in households with higher income have a higher rate of complaints, but the reasons are apparently anyone's guess. Maybe it is because the majority of "rich" people (those who have mortgages as opposed to those who are so rich that they do not need a mortgage) own their own business and/or work for a living and understand the complete an utter incompetencies of the system. "Poor" people should be outraged because the system is now against them. Before 2008, the banks would provide funds to anyone with a pulse. When the banks woke up and realized that you need an income to pay back a mortgage, they overreacted and made it very difficult for anyone without a perfect credit score and 40% down to get a decent rate mortgage. It is because of the incompetence and lack of foresight of the banks that we now have a very difficult time (way too difficult) of borrowing money. 

So, "rich or poor you'd do well to take your complaints to the CFPB, says Laura Murray of the consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG."


but the headline says


"Rich folks whine more about their mortgages"


You people writing these headlines are ridiculous.


The article isn't much better. A lot of critical thinking went into this one, I can tell. MSN needs to stop hiring bloggers from the Valley Girl Twitter pages to write articles.


The top 25% is any HOUSEHOLD grossing more than $89,000. In what world is that rich??


Oct 14, 2013 1:48PM
So what are they complaining about?  "All aspects of the mortgage process"...OK, got any examples?  Got any insight on whether or not their complaints are valid?  Or are you just trying to stir the pot to expand readership?
Oct 14, 2013 2:15PM
Pitting the poor against the upper middle class again.  People are getting sick of this and can see right though it. If only the poor were pitted against the Hollywood super rich and the Warren Buffet and Bill Gates types, who are actually rich, that would be worth seeing.  Ok, gotta get back to work to pay my mortgage because I'm middle class, but aspire to be upper middle class.  Call me a jerk I'm ok with that.
Oct 14, 2013 1:53PM
MSN, wonderful, great content, insightful journalism.  You should win the liberal cry baby award.
Oct 14, 2013 1:47PM
Makes me glad I've paid off my mortgage.
Oct 14, 2013 2:48PM
Talk about MSN biased reporting. According to an internet search, the top 25% US income begins at $77,000. While certainly not poor, these households are not "rich", they make enough to be able to afford a mortgage, not an apartment. More than likely there are two wage workers in the house also. Yes the multi million $ earners are in the top 25% too but the bottom of the statistic is NOT rich. Another "news" report from an organization with a proven biased agenda.
Oct 14, 2013 2:17PM
More class warfare and $hit stirring from a liberal trying to make a name for herself. The rich probably should complain, since they have to carry the burden for all of the deadbeats created by the Obama administration.  Isn't it ironic that the ones who complain the most about the rich are the same one's that have no money?
Oct 14, 2013 1:41PM

Tragically, it's the CFPB (as authorized by DoddFrank act & Obama) that has literally excluded the middle & lower class from participating in the real estate recovery through over regulation to the point that only the wealthy can qualify for loans.  Give this a couple more years and time will prove that the largest transfer of wealth EVER took place under Obama's guidance and his overprotective regulations - all under the guise that he is watching out for their best interests.  Sorry, but he has squandered an opportunity of a lifetime to get grocery clerks, waitresses, etc. in on the low real estate prices and historically low interest rates.  Now they will be renters forever as the price increases and higher interest rates will exclude them from ever qualifying.  Hows that recovery feeling to you?  It's going to feel great to the real estate investors - richer as each day passes.  Unfortunately the average Joe will be getting poorer and poorer as time passes and inflation eats into their wage.  Amateurish leadership from Obama.  But look at the culture he has created where everyone is poisoned against the rich just for being rich - Sad times America - look at what you've deteriorated too.  Shameful.

Oct 14, 2013 2:18PM
Can you imagine MSNBC with a headline "POOR WHINE ABOUT EVERYTHING!"

That aside, banks treat everyone like crap when it comes to mortgages, but that is due to the number of loan defaults and the govt requiring banks lend to those who can't really afford a mortgage.
Oct 14, 2013 2:43PM

yes.  all 'rich' people are sitting around with time on their hands to complain about banks.  please.  the mortgage process sucks for anyone who needs to borrow money right now.  rich or poor.  and affluent people feel entitled to help?  who lets crap like this get printed.  I feel dumber for not only having read it but now spent a minute commenting on it. 

Oct 14, 2013 1:55PM
excuse me, you're NOT Rich unless, you OWN your Own home......
Oct 14, 2013 2:20PM

Here's what the article incorrectly claims:

The reasons for these differences are anyone's guess. The bureau wouldn't speculate. The Post offers some guesses, though:

Wealthy people are thought to have easier access to the Internet. (However, the bureau does take complaints by fax and phone.)
The rich may have more time to complain.
Affluent people may feel more entitled to help.


The reasons are NOT anyone's guess.  And the POST certainly got it WRONG.

-  Wealthy people do NOT have more access to internet.  Every library and school has free, available internet access.  You just have to have a little bit of motivation to use them!  And didn't the article state that complaints can be filed by phone and fax???

-  The rich do NOT have more time - they are WORKING.  The "poor" are at home sitting on their asses with lots of time.  They are just oo high and drunk to be bothered!

-  The wealthy feel more entitled???  Excuse me, but who feels more "entitled" than Obama's lazy hordes who do NOT WORK.

If you want something in this life. . .get off your ****ing asses and WORK FOR IT!!!
Oct 14, 2013 2:04PM
Or maybe some of those rich people have been through the process before/more often, so they know when something isn't right? I mean, if you have a high paying job and are required to relocate often (a bunch of people I know that have very well paying jobs do move fairly often as they go where the company wants them to go), then you have more experience with the home buying/mortgage process and will know if something is wrong or if someone is trying to rip you off. You are also probably more aware of the options you have to take care of it- such as reporting it to the CFPB. I've never owned a home, so honestly I probably wouldn't know if something was wrong unless it was very obvious. My parents or grandparents (I don't think they would be classified in the top 25%) who have both owned many homes (parents are on 4th house due to work related moves and my grandparents have moved so much they have probably owned 10-15 houses over the years) would know right away if something was wrong.
Oct 14, 2013 2:40PM

Another story to hate the rich, thx low info libtard media, I see its working, ah the original sin, envy. Stories to hate the rich = 450+, stories on government waste and how we can use that before raising taxes = 0.


Remember kids, government is a low info libtards sacred golden cow !

Oct 14, 2013 2:08PM
How about.... we look at the percentage of people who own homes versus rent in these areas? Its only 30% versus 21% of complaints...  Where I am sure in the lower 25% of the income 15% own homes???  And in the upper 25% of the income 85% or more own homes?  Re look at your numbers now, I bet the complaints shift a ton!
Oct 14, 2013 2:24PM
How about maybe the issue being people that could not afford those homes in those affluent zip codes being a possible issue. Nah...lets just keep perpetuating the myth that the rich are the issue!
Oct 14, 2013 2:57PM
Wow!  And people wonder why it is said that the media is biased.  30% percent of the complaints come from the top 25% and 21% come from the bottom 25%.  Is that a large enough difference to write an article titled "Rich folks whine more about their mortgages."?   5% more complaints from one quarter of the sample group is enough to write an article that MSN picks up on their front page?  Then the speculation as to why there are more complaints include "The rich may have more time to complain" and "Affluent people may feel more entitled to help",  that is totally irresponsible, agenda driven garbage. 
Oct 14, 2013 2:37PM

Hey bigpoppab,


Can YOU show me where in the constitution of the United States, or ANY state for that matter, that YOU are guaranteed a profit or are protected from devaluation of the price of ANYTHING [including a house] that YOU buy? If it is written down somewhere, I'd like to see it.

For at least 15 years, there were more and more people warning about the housing bubble, but NOBODY LISTENED, because they were TOO GREEDY!!!  They thought that housing would NEVER go down. Well it DID AND DOES, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE.

I feel sorry for the people that got screwed by the banks, but that is another matter.


But I digress, NOBODY is guaranteed a PROFIT on ANYTHING. And THAT INCLUDES YOU!!

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.