Servicemembers & Consumer Issues

June 25, 2019

The Office of Servicemembers Affairs (OSA) within the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) monitors and analyzes consumer complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and military families (collectively referred to as servicemembers).  The OSA annual report, issued in January 2019, provides data and analysis around the most common complaints submitted by servicemembers. 

 

A majority of complaints from servicemembers revolve around credit or consumer reporting followed by debt collection issues.  These issues can put servicemembers’ security clearance, duty status, potential promotion, or entire military career in jeopardy.  Recent changes to the Department of Defense security clearance rules make these issues even more important to resolve as quickly as possible.  For example, an average of 4,700 to 8,000 servicemembers are separated each year from the military due to financial issues, losing their security clearance due to unpaid debts.  These separations take a toll not only on the servicemembers and their families, but cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars (up to $456 million per year) to recruit and replace those servicemembers.

 

Background checks by the Department of Defense, or DoD, used to be performed periodically (typically, every 5 years).  Recent changes have implemented a “continuous monitoring” policy that automatically checks servicemembers’ credit histories.  Additionally, deployed servicemembers have been dealing with an increase of identity theft or other fraud while on active duty, as well as issues in receiving bills or collection attempts in a timely manner due to frequent address changes.  Main areas of concern are medical debt, VA Debt related to veterans’ health benefits and GI Bill benefits, telecommunications debt, credit cards impacted by changes to the Military Lending Act, student loan servicing, and add-on products in the car-buying process, particularly GAP insurance.

 

As the OSA continues to monitor these problem areas, they are also educating and empowering servicemembers to make better informed decisions.  Misadventures in Money Management (MiMM) is a graphic, “choose your own adventure” training novel to engage servicemembers with real life financial choices in a fun and interactive manner.  Topics include consumer financial decision-making, choosing a financial institution, understanding protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), avoiding impulse purchases, and understanding how debt can affect a military career.  Since its launch, over 22,000 new recruits and ROTC senior cadets have used this training, which is leading to an increased knowledge on the covered topics, and which may also lead to an increase in SCRA requests for relief and changes in purchasing decisions as the training is offered to more servicemembers.

 

The OSA works with the DoD, the VA, the Department of Education, the FTC, as well as state agencies to coordinate efforts regarding consumer protection measures related to financial products and services offered to servicemembers and their families.  A key component to this is monitoring consumer complaints, which will continue to be one of their top priorities.  The OSA understands that the military lifecycle can be physically and emotionally strenuous to servicemembers, veterans, and their families, and they understand that adding financial stresses to that service can become a burden too heavy to bear.  They remain committed to their mission: to promote financial awareness and wise decision making to help keep our bravest from financial disarray.

19 comments

Leave a comment
  1. josef smith | Jul 16, 2019
    This post is informational, valuable and excellent design, as share good vmware fusion 11 coupon code stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need to read more such a helpful information here.
  2. Text Chemistry | Jul 15, 2019
    I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful.Text Chemistry
  3. Relationship Rewrite Method | Jul 15, 2019
    Going to graduate school was a positive decision for me. I enjoyed the coursework, the presentations, the fellow students, and the professors. And since my company reimbursed 100% of the tuition, the only cost that I had to pay on my own was for books and supplies. Otherwise, I received a free master’s degree. All that I had to invest was my time.Relationship Rewrite Method
  4. His Secret Obsession | Jul 15, 2019
    I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles.His Secret Obsession
  5. Messages of Obsession | Jul 15, 2019
    Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.Messages of Obsession
  6. alatlengkap | Jul 14, 2019
  7. Lovetraction Lines | Jul 14, 2019
    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.   Lovetraction Lines
  8. Bitter Leaf | Jul 14, 2019
    I found Hubwit as a transparent s ite, a social hub which is a conglomerate of Buyers and Sellers who are ready to offer online digital consultancy at decent cost.  Bitter Leaf
  9. Papaya Juice | Jul 14, 2019
    I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy.  Papaya Juice
  10. Honey | Jul 13, 2019
    Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback. Honey
  11. Sam | Jul 11, 2019
    The post is really superb. It’s varied accessory information that consists during a basic would you like to share Bihar and Bihari WhatsApp Group Link, Brazil Whatsapp Group Link and Mexico WhatsApp Group Link.  The substance is genuinely composed. This web log is frequently sharing useful actualities. London UK WhatsApp Group Link, American WhatsApp Group Link, Singapore WhatsApp Group Link and Indonesia WhatsApp Group Link . thank you so much
  12. Jerry | Jul 10, 2019
    I hope to hear more updates from you, this is what I need to find instagram online
  13. S4UK | Jul 10, 2019
  14. Robust Posts | Jul 09, 2019
  15. dd | Jul 09, 2019
    dd
  16. Lydia George | Jul 04, 2019
    Ebat' kopat', nice
  17. Bill | Jul 04, 2019
  18. Alex Wilson | Jul 02, 2019
    Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic read. new zealand immigration assessment | rpl sample australia
  19. Olivia Jackson | Jun 28, 2019

    Please let me know if you’re looking for an author for your site. You have some great posts, and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thanks.

    cdr summary statement , cdr report writers in india

    Leave a comment