Washington, D.C. –The National Consumer Law Center applauds Senator Baldwin and her colleagues for reintroducing the Military Consumer Enforcement Act, which would empower the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to oversee and enforce certain provisions of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Originally passed during World War II and modernized in 2003, the SCRA was intended to ease economic burdens on military personnel and ensure military readiness by protecting service members against common banking abuses.
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has returned $130 million to service members from predatory lenders,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “It’s a no-brainer for Congress to give the CFPB the tools to further protect those who protect us. This legislation should enjoy strong bipartisan support.”
The U.S. Office of Servicemember Affairs at the CFPB has acted as a watchdog for military personnel and served the distinct financial needs of military families. Military leaders nationwide have lauded the work of the consumer agency and its dedicated Office of Servicemember Affairs.
Earlier this year, military family and consumer advocates told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee about the need to vigorously enforce laws combatting financial fraud that specifically target the military community. Last month, 29 leading military and veterans groups and two grassroots organizations representing U.S. veterans and military family members sent separate letters urging members of Congress to defend the CFPB against threats to its authority, structure and funding.
The Military Consumer Enforcement Act is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.).
Since 1969, the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center® (NCLC®) has used its expertise in consumer law and energy policy to work for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and other disadvantaged people, including older adults, in the United States. NCLC’s expertise includes policy analysis and advocacy; consumer law and energy publications; litigation; expert witness services, and training and advice for advocates. NCLC works with nonprofit and legal services organizations, private attorneys, policymakers, and federal and state government and courts across the nation to stop exploitative practices, help financially stressed families build and retain wealth, and advance economic fairness. www.nclc.org