Federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs, are holding several events for consumers during Military Consumer Month. These events are also important for businesses in the accounts receivable management industry and ACA International members to follow and share with consumers and clients they work with.
Military Consumer Month is an annual observance to increase awareness of consumer protections and financial readiness for service members, veterans and military families, according to a news release from the CFPB.
Each week in July, the CFPB, in collaboration with the FTC and Department of Defense, will highlight a key financial topic within the military community.
On July 7, the CFPB held a virtual forum on military consumer protection with U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla. Events and notices during the second week of the month will focus on identity theft and scams. The Military Families Learning Network is hosting a webinar on July 13 where the CFPB and FTC will cover tools to help military consumers identify and protect themselves against potential scams.
Active-duty military members have certain protections under the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act, which the CFPB will cover later this month.
The CFPB also recently issued an interpretive rule in advance of Military Consumer Month to outline the “basis for its authority to examine supervised financial institutions for risks to active-duty service members and their dependents (i.e. military borrowers) from conduct that violates the Military Lending Act (MLA),” ACA previously reported.
Look for events on financial recovery for military consumers after the COVID-19 pandemic and a webinar on military consumer protection with the CFPB and Delaware Attorney General’s Office later this month, according to the CFPB news release.
Meanwhile, the FTC is focusing on online fraud impacting military consumers, including through social media, this month, according to a news release. The FTC will highlight how to spot the signs of a scam, recover from identity theft, and use some of the special legal protections given to service members.
ACA members can find more information on working with service members through the ACA SearchPoint library and clicking on the “service members” tab.