Local

May 24, 2012

Airmen get financial tips from Nevada officials

By Scott Knuteson
99 Air Base Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airmen participate in a town hall meeting with Catherine Cortez Masto, State of Nevada Office of the Attorney General, and Holly Petraeus, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, May 16, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Masto and Petraeus exchanged questions and information with Airmen about the financial challenges that Air Force members face.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases participated in a town hall with the Nevada attorney general and an assistant director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau May 16, 2012.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Holly Petraeus, who heads the CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs, were on base to discuss the unique financial challenges servicemembers face and offer tips on how to avoid illegal or harmful financial practices.

During the town hall meeting, the pair discussed predatory lending practices, financial hardships and consumer protection options.

Airmen asked questions ranging from how to avoid disreputable lenders to how to choose the best education options.

Military personnel should access the CFPB’s Servicemember page for information on these and other topics, including legal and emergency assistance, financial management services, and links pertaining to military spouses and Wounded Warriors.

In particular, accountability in education has received renewed emphasis, Petraeus said. The Departments of Education, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the CFPB, were recently directed by Presidential executive order to take steps to ensure that servicemembers, Veterans and their families can get the information they need about the schools where they spend their education benefits.

According to a Senate committee report released last fall, Veterans’ education benefits made up as much as 90 percent of the revenues of certain publicly-traded for-profit colleges. Because G.I. Bill benefits represent a lucrative revenue stream for for-profit schools, military members have become targets for high-pressure and dishonest marketing tactics from some of them, prompting the President to direct preventive action from government agencies.

According to Petraeus, the directive strengthens oversight and accountability of the schools that offer educational programs to the military.

Discussion at the town hall meeting also touched on the housing market and the implications of recent modifications to the Home Affordable Modification Program. The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs worked with the Department of the Treasury to make changes to HAMP that will provide more opportunities for mortgage assistance to military homeowners.

Under the changes, which will go into effect June 1, 2012, military homeowners and other families who are permanently displaced by a job-related move may still qualify as owner-occupants, which means they may still qualify for a HAMP mortgage modification, according to the CFPB.

Earlier in the day, Masto and Petraeus dined with servicemembers and participated in a roundtable discussion with base senior leaders and representatives from support agencies.

Petraeus has carried her agency’s message to more than 25 military bases in the last year. But the forums she hosts are not only about disseminating information.

“I’m also on the road to hear from them,” Petraeus said, adding that the forums provide her with first-hand accounts of various financial scenarios facing troops – stories she shares with her colleagues in Washington, D.C.

“These agencies help bolster and enforce an array of federal and state laws that make your life as a consumer and a service member easier,” Col Darren Bishop, 99 Mission Support Group commander, told the town hall meeting audience.

While enforcement is necessary to catch illegal practices, education is of paramount importance to keep troops safe in the first place.

“Particularly for our servicemembers, we want to make sure they have the information they need to protect themselves so they do not become victims,” Masto said.

Payday lenders and for-profit colleges, for example, can present unique challenges in that it can be difficult to discern whether a company is legitimate.

“Look for the red flags,” Masto said, noting especially that if an entity demands money in advance of a service, it is likely to be a scam.

The CFPB, which was created in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is focused on one goal, according to its website: watching out for American consumers in the market for consumer financial products and services.

If there is a question as to an entity’s legitimacy, a complaint to be filed, or if a servicemember has a general question, they should contact their base legal assistance office, state attorney general or the CFPB at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/servicemembers.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Creech chiefs welcome finest Airmen into top enlisted tier

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Saugstad, center left, poses with his wife Senior Master Sgt. Carissa Saugstad, Chief Master Sgt. Butch Brien, 432nd Wing command chief, and ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Creech commandeers career counseling capability

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Senior Master Sgt. Tonya Joyce (left) and Master Sgt. Marcy Holland, both 99th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisors, are available to help Airmen stationed in Souther...
 

 

AGE: Supporting airpower with ground power

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis The Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aerospace Ground Equipment hangar, plays an important role in ground support. Personnel who work at the AGE hangar perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on AGE as well as inspect, test and operate the equipment to determine serviceability and proper...
 
 
presents

Adopt-A-Family campaign spreads holiday cheer

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Nellis First Sergeants Council is sponsoring its annual Adopt-A-Family program during the upcoming 2014 holiday season at Nellis AFB. Adopt-A-Family is a program that delivers presents to mil...
 
 
DT2

Ellsworth AFB B-1s blast through Green Flag-West 15-02

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Two crew chiefs from the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., complete a pre-flight checklist on a B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsw...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin