Tomorrow, November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day. Veterans Day was originally created as Armistice Day in 1919 to mark the end World War I, and recognize those who had served in it. It has since evolved into a day to honor all those who have served in our nation’s military.
While they may live and work unrecognized among us, we want to say to them, especially on this day, that we gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the fact that they set aside civilian life to serve our country in war or peace.
The CFPB is proud to count a substantial number of veterans among its ranks. While we appreciate the skills and talents they bring to their work here every day, on Veterans Day we recognize and thank them for their military service.
And, I’d like to remind all U.S. veterans that the CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) is a resolute advocate for them and their families.
Since we opened our doors in July 2011, the CFPB has handled complaints from more than 66,000 servicemembers, veterans and their families. Consumer complaints give us insights into problems people are experiencing and play a central role in our work, helping to identify and prioritize problems for potential action. For example, complaints we received about companies that were allegedly targeting veterans with deceptive mortgage refinance offers prompted a joint sweep by the Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission that resulted in a number of those companies being ordered to change their practices and pay penalties. In another example, OSA referred complaints to the Department of Justice concerning a federal student loan servicer, Sallie Mae, denying Servicemembers Civil Relief Act rights to servicemembers and veterans. The Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ultimately ordered Sallie Mae to pay $96.6 million in restitution and penalties to approximately 77,000 servicemembers and veterans. And our own Enforcement team has remained vigilant, most recently ordering Navy Federal Credit Union to pay $28.5 million for improper debt collection actions.
And our work continues. Today, OSA released a complaint snapshot spotlighting veterans’ complaints about mortgage refinancing issues.
As veterans enjoy the day set aside for the country to recognize and honor them, we want to remind them that the CFPB has their back, and that we will continue to work diligently to serve them, as they served us.