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Schumer wants financial protection for service members

WASHINGTON – Members of the armed forces are suffering from abusive financial practices while serving overseas, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer wants it to stop.

To that end, Schumer said Wednesday that he’s pushing for legislation that would give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau more authority to crack down on financial institutions that inappropriately foreclose on the homes of service members, or repossess their vehicles, or otherwise harm service members who are deployed abroad.

“When our men and women in uniform come home, we should be welcoming them with a huge ‘thank you’ – not a huge bill or a notice of eviction posted on their front door,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. “Strengthening the CFBP’s ability to enforce protections for former and current service members and their families is an important step in our efforts to safeguard our soldier’s financial well-being.”

Schumer noted that the CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs received more than 17,000 complaints last year. The trouble is, the agency doesn’t have enough authority to pursue cases against financial institutions in conjunction with such complaints.

The Military Consumer Protection Act, sponsored by Schumer and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., would change that, Schumer said,

In Western New York, there are 33 active duty service members, 1,411 National Guardsmen and 2,597 reservists, Schumer’s office noted.