Attorney General Jim Hood has joined a coalition of 33 attorneys general calling for the financial protection of military families.
The attorneys general are calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to continue protecting military service members against predatory lenders under the Military Lending Act (MLA). The AGs are asking the CFPB to reconsider a reported decision to stop examining lenders to ensure they are complying with the MLA.
Enacted in 2006, the MLA protects military service members and their families against exploitative lenders and loans so that service members aren’t overburdened with debt.
“Protecting those who sacrifice for our country every day should not be a political bargaining chip,” General Hood said. “This is about right and wrong and the very purpose of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is to protect Americans from predatory businesses, especially when they take advantage of our nation’s heroes.”
The CFPB has the authority to examine lenders’ compliance with the MLA to detect potential risks to consumers and ensure that military service members aren’t being offered illegal loans. This is especially important for younger service members who have less experience managing their own finances and may be more vulnerable to predatory loans.
Approximately 60 percent of military families report experiencing stress related to their financial condition. Service members in financial distress may have their security clearance revoked and be compelled to leave the military, resulting in the loss of well-trained service members and additional financial burdens for the military.
General Hood is joined in sending this letter by the attorneys general of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.