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Posts from December 2011

Destination: Portland, ME


According to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, there are an estimated 14,000 incidents of elder abuse annually in Maine, and at least 84 percent of them go unreported. There are many types of elder abuse, including financial exploitation, and it’s important to increase our understanding of how to spot and prevent it.

On Monday, Dec. 12, my team and I traveled to Portland, Maine, to participate in a roundtable hosted by the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging (M4A) with state government officials, a district attorney and other law enforcement officials, and leaders from senior groups and the financial services industry. (more…)

Financial Fitness Forum


This week, the Office of Servicemember Affairs held a special event: a Financial Fitness Forum. We invited representatives from the military, government agencies, and financial institutions to come and talk about the financial challenges faced by servicemembers and their families, and what is being done – and could be done – to address them. Our particular focus for this event was on the products and services offered to the military by financial institutions.

Hosting this Forum ties directly into our mission to educate and empower servicemembers and their families to make better-informed decisions regarding consumer financial products and services. If we are going to complete that mission, it helps to know what those financial products and services are! There are a number of financial institutions that have been offering unique products for their military customers for quite some time, and we were interested in learning about those. (more…)

A conversation with the South Florida Latino community


On December 2, 2011, I participated in a White House Latino Community Summit in Miami. The community summit connected senior government officials from diverse policy areas with local Hispanic leaders, business owners, and community advocates to discuss issues critical to the South Florida Latino community.

Too many Latino families have experienced the very reasons that we need a consumer agency in the first place. Beginning in 2007, when the U.S. faced the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression, Latinos have been hit hard. Florida has record numbers of foreclosures and mortgage scams that prey on Latinos, older Americans, and too many others. (more…)

The CFPB wants you to blow the whistle on lawbreakers


Do you have information about a company that you think has violated federal consumer financial laws? Are you a current or former employee of such a company, an industry insider who knows about such a company, or even a competitor being unfairly undercut by such a company? If so, the CFPB wants to hear from you. Tipsters and whistleblowers are encouraged to send information about what they know to (more…)

Addressing credit discrimination


The CFPB is the first federal agency with the primary mission of making consumer financial markets work for American consumers. Congress charged us with ensuring that:

  • All consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services; and
  • Markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.


Know Before You Owe: Closer to closing (mortgage disclosure, that is)


Last month, we unveiled two new prototypes for a single mortgage disclosure to replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and final Truth-in-Lending disclosure. Currently, you receive both of these at closing. Consistent with the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act, we are working to combine them. Our goal is to make this one combined form that is easier to understand and use for consumers and industry.

We’re giving a close-up to closing costs this month by trying to figure out which of two different designs communicates both the closing costs and transaction details clearly. (more…)