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Americans lodged record number of financial complaints last year: rpt

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Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Stephanie Asymkos discuss the record number of financial complaints lodged in 2020.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: In this week's Your Money segment, Stephanie Asymkos tells us how Americans lodged a record number of financial complaints last year, as they struggled with the economic fallout from the pandemic. And Stephanie, I guess, chief among these were inaccuracies on credit scoring reports.

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: That's correct. Hi, Alexis. And they accounted for 63% of the total complaints of all of 2020.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: What are some of the other takeaways that you found?

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: So it actually, the bulk of those complaints stemmed from inaccurately reported mortgage forbearance accounts by lenders. And the way that a source explained this to me is that when people entered forbearance plans and other hardship programs, thanks to the CARES Act, they were granted mortgage forbearances, which means they didn't have to pay on mortgages. And basically, what that turned out to be is that credit report showed that they weren't paying mortgages when they didn't have to. So it was a major mix-up. And as a result, a lot of people complained-- and deservedly so.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Do you think that we might-- might we see some changes here in 2021? Might we have learned anything from all of these mishaps and financial complaints of last year?

STEPHANIE ASYMKOS: Yeah, and consumers are being really great advocates for themselves and complaining to the top three, the big three bureaus of Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. And a change that's come out of this for the good is that now consumers previously were able to have one free credit report per year, and now that's changed where we can have one free credit report per week. And that will be extended to April 2022.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, Stephanie Asymkos, thanks so much for that.