Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, and Holly Petraeus, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Servicemember Affairs, joined forces today to hear firsthand the financial challenges that Fort Campbell soldiers and their families face as a result of unscrupulous business practices.
“Servicemembers and their families deserve all the protections against deceptive business practices that we can provide them,” Attorney General Slatery said. “Hopefully educational sessions like the one today will help our servicemembers know what resources are available in order to prevent them from being taken advantage of.”
“Our military servicemen and women, who risk their lives to protect our country, should not have to defend themselves and their families against scams or misleading and predatory business practices,” Attorney General Conway said. “I am committed to improving consumer protection measures for Kentucky’s military families, and I’m pleased to be partnering once again with Mrs. Petraeus and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office to help provide our soldiers with the tools and assistance they need if they feel they have been scammed.”
During a roundtable discussion and town hall-style meeting today, the attorneys general, Mrs. Petraeus, and members of Fort Campbell’s Community Service Financial Readiness Program were able to talk with soldiers and their families about making sound financial decisions and consumer purchases. Additionally, the officials encouraged servicemembers who feel they may have been taken advantage of to file complaints with the appropriate authorities.
In August, Attorney General Conway and Holly Petraeus visited Fort Knox to discuss consumer protection-related issues with soldiers based at that post. Mrs. Petraeus knows all too well the strains facing America’s troops and their families. Formerly with the Better Business Bureau’s Military Line program, Mrs. Petraeus now leads the Office of Servicemember Affairs.
“I am pleased to join both Attorney General Conway and Attorney General Slatery to hear firsthand from servicemembers, veterans, and community leaders about their consumer financial issues,” Mrs. Petraeus said. “I appreciate their input and suggestions, and I will be mindful of what I heard in Kentucky as I pursue my efforts at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
So far this year, Fort Campbell’s Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program has assisted more than 4,000 soldiers and their family members with a variety of issues, including identity theft, credit reports, vehicle purchases, foreclosure avoidance, investment products, and work-at-home scams.
“The Fort Campbell Army Community Service (ACS) Consumer Affairs Office has successfully formed an alliance with the Tennessee and Kentucky Attorneys General, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to provide maximum support and protection to our military consumers,” said Betty Geren, manager of the Fort Campbell ACS Financial Readiness Program. “Our proactive approach to consumer protection allows us to continue our mission of ensuring financial resiliency for our entire military community.”
Online Toolkits for Servicemembers
Attorney General Conway and Attorney General Slatery have both made consumer protection toolkits available online for servicemembers. The toolkits provide useful tips and resources on nearly a dozen consumer-related issues tailored to servicemen and women and their families, including identity theft prevention, mortgage scams, debt collection, payday lending, and for-profit schools.
The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Guide for Military Servicemembers is available at ag.ky.gov/consumer. The Tennessee Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Guide for Consumer Affairs Counselors and United States Military Servicemembers can be found at http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/cpro/militaryguide/militaryguide.html.