The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently reported that it has helped recover more than $1 million since July 2011 for servicemembers, veterans and their families that complained to the bureau about financial products or services. Since that date, the bureau has received more than 14,000 complaints from these groups, which came from every state, as well as every rank and branch of the Armed Services. These complaints were by and large in line "with those of the population at large." However, many complaints from these groups also addressed a few special financial protections accorded to them by federal laws. In the report, the bureau expressed concern with:

  • Aggressive and deceptive tactics used by the debt collection industry involving " contacting a servicemember’s military chain of command, threatening punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, threatening to have a servicemember reduced in rank, or threatening to have a servicemember’s security clearance revoked."
  • Incorrect information provided by student loan servicers regarding the protections offered in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
  • Skirting of interest rate limits provided in the Military Lending Act by payday loan companies.
  • Mortgage servicers' lack of knowledge about military-specific programs, such as those offered by the CFPB and other prudential regulators, including short-sale guidelines aimed at assisting servicemembers with Permanent Change of Station orders.

For more, read the full news release and report.