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A snapshot of financial complaints from the military

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Did you know we’ve received more than 5,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their families? By and large, statistics for complaints submitted by the military track with those of the population at large. But these complaint statistics aren’t just numbers to us: they represent military members and their families and we know the impact consumer financial issues can have on their quality of life.

Read the report: A snapshot of complaints from the military.

In one complaint, an active-duty airman received permanent change of station orders in April 2012 – meaning he had no choice but to move – and tried to get approval from his mortgage servicer to sell his house in a short sale. In August, the company denied his request. He contacted his judge advocate to find out his rights; the judge advocate contacted the CFPB and learned about the guidance we had issued to clarify what mortgage servicers should do when contacted by a servicemember who has received PCS orders.

Based on that guidance, the judge advocate advised the airman to submit a complaint to us. We monitored the complaint and helped address the issues raised in the complaint. After previously denying the short sale, the company re-reviewed the airman’s request and approved it.

In another complaint, an active-duty army officer had been told by her student loan servicer that they were going to terminate her SCRA rights unless she provided a new set of orders that contained an end date. As an officer, she did not have orders with an end date, so the servicer terminated her interest-rate protection while she was still serving on active duty. The consumer complained to the CFPB and even before the complaint was routed to the relevant enforcement agency, a representative from the Office of Servicemember Affairs was able to communicate with the servicer and ensure the rate was reinstated.

We want to hear from active-duty, guard, reserve, retirees, family members, and veterans – the whole military community. And we want you to know you can contact us with questions or complaints about consumer financial products and services. We can’t guarantee what the results will be, but we will bring your concerns to the attention of companies, help address your complaints, and work with other federal and state agencies on improving consumer protection for the military.

I am proud to lead a team that works day in and day out on consumer financial challenges affecting military personnel, veterans and their families. We learn about their financial challenges by traveling to military installations across the country, talking directly to servicemembers, veterans and their families and by monitoring the complaints they submit to us, as those complaints can identify the pain points for military families in their consumer financial dealings.

To submit a complaint, visit consumerfinance.gov/complaint.

  • Smaz

    More of those on active duty, and their family members here at home, need to be told of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and companies and individuals that violate the terms of said Act should be held accountable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Nelson/100003855551173 Bill Nelson

    During my recent 4 year term as President of a national military charity that provided financial assistance to thousands of service members each year, I found that financial servicing issues were a common problem with military families in financial trouble. Financial education is an ongoing need for the military given the turnover of personnel each year and the very young age of most service members. At the same time, education of financial services firms about military rights such as SCRA is critical for the system to work fairly for our troops. The CFPB and especially the Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) has a key role to play in reducing the unnecessary strain on military families caused by unfair and/or illegal treatment by financial service providers. Bill Nelson

  • Trish George

    Can school loans be deferred while on deployment?

  • http://twitter.com/HotProbateLeads Hot Probate Leads

    I’m glad they are looking to set an established order to relocation’s of our military personnel.

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