Recent data revealed that, for the fifth year, consumer debt complaints ranging from “problems with mortgages [and] debt collection agencies to credit card companies” topped the list of concerns reported to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
“Even the most commonplace consumer transactions have become more complex and fraught with risk, and nowhere has that been more obvious than in [the] mortgage market where toxic loans have destroyed our economy,” Madigan said, according to Chicago Tribune.
Madigan’s office received more than 1,300 complaints last year, many of which pertained to her lawsuit against Westwood College, which alleged that students were left with substantial debt after completing degrees that failed to land them careers. The suit also alleged that students were not given adequate information about their loans.
Other complaints ranked among the top 10 reported to Madigan’s office were related to identity theft, construction and home improvement, motor vehicles and used auto sales, telecommunications fraud, sweepstakes and work-at-home scams, consulting and directory fraud, non-warranty repairs on motor vehicles and mail order problems, Chicago Tribune reports.
The chief complaint reported to the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois related to work-at-home schemes, which offer consumers the ability to earn a high salary while working from home. The BBB also received complaints related to credit repair services with up-front fees, debt relief services, office supply telemarketers, messages congratulating the consumer for winning contests, lotteries that require an advance payment and brokers offering immediate loans with little or no background information in exchange for an advance fee.