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Category: Data, research, and reports |
Published

Servicemembers 2015: A year in review

The number of complaints we receive from the military community continues to grow; from 2014-2015, complaints increased by 13 percent. For the second year in a row, debt collection, mortgages, and credit reporting were the top three complaint categories for the military community. Debt collection—by a large margin—was the top complaint category, comprising nearly half of our military complaints.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Servicemembers: Protecting your credit when you’re away from home

Being away and mission-focused means you won’t be able to regularly check your accounts or credit report, so you may be at increased risk for fraud or identity theft. Today, we’re releasing our Fraud Alert Fact Sheet, which provides you with the information you need to know about getting protective alerts inserted into your credit reports when you’re away.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Consumer advisory: Your benefits are protected from garnishment

Over one-third of the complaints that older consumers submit to us are related to debt collection. In some of these complaints, consumers told us that debt collectors threatened to garnish their benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and VA benefits, even though these funds usually can’t be garnished. Here’s important information about how these benefits are protected from garnishment.

Category: Data, research, and reports |
Published

Here’s what we’re hearing from Servicemembers and their families

Today, we’re releasing our third Snapshot of Complaints Received from Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families. The report details the data and trends from consumer complaints we’ve received from members of the military community since July 2011. Here are just a few highlights.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Consumer advisory: 3 pension advance traps to avoid

Many retirees depend on a pension to cover day-to-day as well as occasional unexpected expenses, such as health emergencies or home repairs. Although pension advances may seem like a “quick fix” to your financial problems, they can eat into your retirement income when you start paying back the advance plus interest and fees. Here are three things you can do to protect your retirement pension.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Are unpaid debts a military career-killer?

Servicemembers, veterans and military families have submitted more than 11,000 debt collection complaints to the CFPB since we began accepting them in July 2013 – our fastest-growing category of complaints. Among other things, we’ve received reports that some debt collectors are threatening servicemembers by claiming that they will report the unpaid debt to their commanding officer, have the servicemember busted in rank or even have their security clearance revoked if they don’t pay up.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Freedom Stores to provide over $2.5 million in refunds and penalties

Our investigation found that the companies illegally filed thousands of lawsuits in Virginia against consumers who didn’t live or purchase goods there: over 3,500 lawsuits in Norfolk, Virginia in two-plus years, almost all resulting in default judgments against consumers, some of whom didn’t even know they’d been sued until they discovered their bank accounts had been garnished.

Category: Policy and compliance |
Published

Social Security disability income shouldn’t mean you don’t qualify for a mortgage

Today, we’re reminding lenders that placing unnecessary documentation requirements on recipients of Social Security disability income, including disabled veterans, may raise fair lending concerns. Following the guidelines and standards noted in the bulletin may help lenders comply with fair lending laws.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Veterans: Take advantage of student loan forgiveness, but don’t let it damage your credit

We encourage all consumers to check their credit report regularly, but we want to especially encourage veterans who use this benefit to be sure that their student loan servicer (the company that collects payments) is providing correct information about their loan discharge to credit bureaus (the companies that compile and sell credit reports).

Category: Policy and compliance | Category: At the CFPB |
Published

Working together to protect student veterans

We’re joining the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Defense (DoD), and Education (ED) to better protect servicemembers, veterans, and their family members who are attending college. We’ve signed an agreement to carry out a comprehensive strategy to strengthen our enforcement and compliance work.

Category: Policy and compliance |
Published

Closing the book on Colfax

We announced an enforcement action against Colfax Capital Corporation and its subsidiary Culver Capital, LLC for engaging in unlawful lending practices that targeted and financially harmed servicemembers. Although the name might be new to some, this is actually the last gasp of a chameleon-like company with a long and deplorable record of preying on servicemembers.

Category: Data, research, and reports |
Published

Behind the numbers: Servicemember complaints

In the Snapshot of complaints received from servicemembers, veterans, and their families that we’re releasing today, you’ll find the types and trends of military consumer complaints that the CFPB has handled since opening our doors in July 2011. Mortgages continue to top the cumulative volume of complaints handled to date.

Category: Policy and compliance |
Published

New feedback system for GI Bill and Tuition Assistance recipients

Today, the CFPB is very pleased to join the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education, and Justice, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, in announcing a new online student complaint system where servicemembers, veterans, and their families can report negative experiences at education institutions and training programs administering the Post-9/11 GI Bill, DoD Military Tuition Assistance, and other military-related education benefit programs.

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Know your financial adviser

Just like planning for retirement, choosing a financial adviser can be much more challenging than it sounds—especially for senior needs. Today, we’re releasing “Know your financial adviser,” a guide to help you ask the right questions if you’re shopping for an adviser with a title suggesting expertise in senior financial planning. Titles like “veteran’s adviser,” […]

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

What military families should know about payday loans

Starting today, you can submit payday complaints to us. So this seems a good time to remind you that if you are a servicemember on active duty you, your spouse, and certain dependents have the protection of a special law called the Military Lending Act (MLA). The MLA says that you can’t be charged an […]

Category: Info for consumers |
Published

Trick-or-treating for your money

When it comes to tricking you out of your money, for scammers it’s Halloween all year long. In 2011, an estimated 25.6 million adults (10.8 percent of the U.S. adult population) were victims of fraud. Consumer scams can take many different forms, from direct marketing to affinity scams and involve everything from identity theft to […]