Maybe it's my sense of humor, but this recent comment by Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, made me chuckle:

"Despite strong protections that have been put in place to protect homeowners, this month's complaint report shows consumers are still having problems when dealing with their mortgages."

I'd like to think that all the federal government has to do is snap its collective fingers and all our problems will go away, but I wasn't born yesterday.

Housing finance is a $10 trillion business and, after covering real estate since my first planning commission meeting in fall 1967, I get the feeling that it has a mind of its own.

The complaint report to which Cordray refers is published monthly by the bureau and has been since 2011, when, if memory serves, the agency really got up and running.

Since then, it has received more mortgage-related complaints than complaints related to any other type of financial product.

As of Sept. 1, the bureau had handled 192,500 mortgage-related complaints. A familiar one regards continued problems experienced by homeowners trying to prevent foreclosure.

More than 50 percent of mortgage complaints have to do with the problems that consumers face when they are unable to make their payments.

Consumers complain of delays and a lack of information when applying for loan modifications.

In addition, consumers complain that servicers often move forward with foreclosure proceedings while the consumer's modification application is still under review.

Here's a complaint I must get once a week: lack of information when loans are transferred.

Consumers report experiencing confusion and frustration about where to make their payments when their loans are transferred. And when the loan transfers occur, consumers complain that their payments often increase unexpectedly.

They also say that they do not feel properly informed about their loans being transferred.

Having trouble making payments is another biggie.

Nearly one-third of mortgage complaints came from consumers saying that they have trouble making the proper payments on their loans.

They describe mortgage companies not accepting payments of anything less than the full balance owed, or finding that their payments were not properly applied despite their instructions.

In August, the most complained about financial product or service was debt collection, representing about 29 percent of complaints submitted.

Of the 25,732 complaints handled in August, 7,582 were on debt collection.

The second most complained about consumer product was credit reporting, accounting for 5,733 complaints.

In a year-to-year comparison, consumer-loan complaints, including pawn loans, title loans, and installment loans, showed the greatest percentage increase: 47 percent, nearly doubling from last year.

Payday-loan complaints showed the greatest percentage decrease - 12 percent - over the same three-month (June-August) period in 2014 and 2015. They decreased from 526 complaints in 2014 to 463 in 2015.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expects companies to respond to complaints, and to describe the steps they have taken or plan to take to resolve the complaint within 15 days of receipt.

The bureau expects companies to close all but the most complicated complaints within 60 days.

To register your grievances, go to or call the toll-free number at 1-855-411-2372.