In a likely reflection of last year's credit crisis, state attorneys general say that consumers who called their offices in 2008 were more likely than in the past to complain about credit cards and mortgages.
The public's greater concern about credit was reflected in a survey released today by the National Association of Attorneys General, which every year asks state offices to report the categories of complaints they hear the most. Credit card complaints came in fourth (tied with problems involving Internet goods and services). Predatory lending and mortgage complaints, as one category, came in sixth. Neither category was in the top 10 in the 2007 survey.
“With the recession and increased foreclosure rates, consumers need to be on high alert. Too many people are being swindled out of their hard-earned money by scam artists,” Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett said in a statement. Bennett co-chairs the association’s consumer protection committee with Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock.
The top three areas of complaints remained the same as in 2007: debt collection, auto sales, and home repair and construction.
Forty-two state attorneys general offices participated in the non-scientific survey, a spokeswoman said.