Auto insurance, health care, and mortgages generated consumer complaints in 2012

Mortgage modifications, auto-repair problems, and health and home insurance issues were among top consumer complaints in 2012, two state agencies said Monday.

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation issued a list of top consumer complaints it received last year, as did the office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. The agencies were joined at a press conference today by the US Postal Inspectors Office and the Better Business Bureau, which issued lists of their own.

Barbara Anthony. File photo. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe).

“This year, one of our office’s largest sources of consumer concern was health care issues,’’ Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Undersecretary Barbara Anthony said in a statement. “Specifically, consumers had questions surrounding continuity of care such as what to do when a child was no longer covered on a policy, what to do when they switched insurance policies, and how to handle transitioning insurance after a job loss. My office and those of my partners help to educate and alert consumers about these issues, and we either resolve the issue or give guidance for where to turn for help and information.’’


The consumer issue that the state’s attorney general’s office heard about the most was unsolicited loan modification and foreclosure assistance. In some cases, a company made unsolicited contact with consumers, guaranteed results, or asked for upfront fees, which is illegal in Massachusetts, Coakley’s office noted.

“There are a number of unfair and deceptive practices relating to the foreclosure crisis, and we encourage eligible borrowers to be well educated of their rights and utilize our free initiatives to receive the critical support they need,’’ Coakley said in a statement.

The Better Business Bureau and the US Postal Inspectors Office said they fielded many calls last year about used-car dealers, home-improvement companies, foreign lottery scams, and telemarketing issues.

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