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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Federal Office Opens to Protect Military Families from Financial Wrongdoing

  • July 31, 2011
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The Office of Servicemember Affairs, an arm of the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, opened its doors last week to protect service members and their families from financial predators and pitfalls through education and enforcement of state and federal laws.

“Military families have special challenges,” said Holly Petraeus, director of the new office. “There are 50 different states with 50 different laws, and military personnel may not be aware of the protections in the state where they live,” Petraeus, wife of Army Gen. David Petraeus, told American Forces Press Service.

Frequent moves and deployments exacerbate the burden on military families, she said.

The office will deal with a variety of consumer issues, including home loans and foreclosure, and credit card debt. It will focus on three missions:

  • Offering military personnel a quality financial education;
  • Monitoring and responding to consumer complaints; and
  • Coordinating with other federal and state agencies.

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