FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 3, 2011
CONTACT: John Carey at 202-466-1854
AFR Statement on Senate Banking Committee hearing on Empowering and Protecting Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families in the Consumer Financial Marketplace
Washington, DC – Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 250 national, state and local organizations working together for strong Wall Street reform, issued the following statement today:
Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform:
“We applaud Senator Johnson for holding this important hearing. In 2006, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a “Report on Predatory Lending Practices Directed at Members of the Armed Forces and Their Dependents”, which concluded that “predatory lending undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all volunteer fighting force.” In surveys conducted by DoD last year, personal finances ranked second on the list of causes of stress for servicemembers, second only to career concerns. Financial problems are now the top cause of revocation of military security clearances.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – once it is fully up and running with a Director in place – will have the mandate and the tools to take on the range of abusive lending targeting servicemembers and all consumers. And in addition to its general consumer protection mission, it has a particular responsibility to protect servicemembers.
Unfortunately, Republican leaders in Congress are blocking protections for veterans, servicemembers, and all consumers by preventing the confirmation of a Director for the CFPB. Without a Director, the CFPB does not have full authority over the non banks – like payday lenders, student lenders and more – that are among the major sources of problems on and around bases.”