Protecting the military: CFPB teaches service members to be savvy consumers

From left, Command Sgt. Maj. Lance P. Lehr, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss senior enlisted advisor, Maj. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, 1st AD and Fort Bliss commanding general, Hollister K. Petraeus, assistant director, CFPB, Office of Servicemember Affairs and Brig. Gen. John W. Charlton, Brigade Modernization Command commanding general, meet with the Fort Bliss command team and senior finance program leaders at 1st AD Headquarters April 29.  Photo by Sgt. Benjamin Kullman, 1st AD Public Affairs .

From left, Command Sgt. Maj. Lance P. Lehr, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss senior enlisted advisor, Maj. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, 1st AD and Fort Bliss commanding general, Hollister K. Petraeus, assistant director, CFPB, Office of Servicemember Affairs and Brig. Gen. John W. Charlton, Brigade Modernization Command commanding general, meet with the Fort Bliss command team and senior finance program leaders at 1st AD Headquarters April 29. Photo by Sgt. Benjamin Kullman, 1st AD Public Affairs .

By Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  (CFPB), located in Washington, D.C., sent a special representative to the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy on Fort Bliss April 29 to speak about services they offer the military.

Hollister K. Petraeus, CFPB assistant director for Servicemember Affairs, spoke about what the bureau offers service members and their families. She spoke to USASMA students and later to their spouses on how the CFPB works to make markets better, encourage good business practices and identify bad ones.

“No matter how small or large your pay is, everybody can profit from paying attention to their finances,” said Petraeus. “I will fight to do everything I can to make sure that people aren’t taken advantage of.”

Married to former CIA director, retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, Hollister is familiar with the financial challenges service members often face. She has previously served as the director of the Better Business Bureau Military Line, a partnership between the BBB and the Defense Department’s Financial Readiness Campaign that provides consumer education for service members and their families.

“She and her office do a lot for the military and service members,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Rory L. Malloy, USASMA commandant. “Whatever we can do to assist in her efforts to help our veterans, we will do.”

Malloy said Petraeus spoke to service members as well as their spouses at USASMA last year. Her guest lecture had some of the most positive responses from the students and cadre, so she was asked to return this year to provide useful financial advice once more. Malloy added that he hopes Petraeus will return next year.

“Mrs. Petraeus and her family have a rich military background,” said Malloy. “She certainly understands the broad spectrum of what it means to serve.”

During the question and answer session with service members, Petraeus shared real stories about how people lost money to scammers, or earned worthless degrees from unaccredited schools. She tested their financial knowledge with a multiple-choice questionnaire, joking that if they answered one particular question incorrectly, they would be doing push-ups outside.

“Ask questions before you sign a contract,” Petraeus said. “Don’t just focus on what the monthly payment is going to be. People have to protect themselves and do their homework.”

For instance, she pointed out some monthly payments may appear to be affordable, but with added interest people may end up paying more for a service or product than its original value. She also said she wants every service member to learn to be more responsible with his or her income and learn to avoid the scammers that target the military.

Petraeus added there are many ways to check a business out before signing on the dotted line. She gave an example of a scam that took place outside of Fort Bragg: people invested over $8 million only to find the scammers weren’t licensed brokers. At the end of her lecture, she told USASMA students she wanted all of them to succeed and be aware of resources, so they can help educate their subordinates.

“It’s been a pleasure to come back to Fort Bliss and I appreciate how much that the folks stationed here and their families do for all of us,” said Petraeus. “It is my honor to serve them in Washington.”

The goal of the CFPB is to provide the best financial education to the entire military community, including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retirees, family members and veterans. To that end, Petraeus is constantly visiting military posts around the world.

“I’ve been to 73 military installations,” said Petraeus. “Next month I’m going to some bases in Europe, because I want them to know even though they are not stationed in the U.S., my agency still works for them.”

To share your own financial experiences or for more information about the CFPB, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

Share

Short URL: http://fortblissbugle.com/?p=27911

Comments are closed

Advertisement Massage Therapy Training Institute Advertisement Discover Ruidoso

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
Advertisement Western Tech
Advertisement Discover Ruidoso
Advertisement Laser Tattoo Removal

Photo Gallery

Advertisement
Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes | The Bugle and The Bugle Online are published by Laven Publishing each Thursday.
The Bugle is an unofficial publication authorized by AR 360-1 and printed each Thursday in the interest of the Fort Bliss and El Paso, Texas, communities. It is the only publication allowed to be distributed on Fort Bliss property. The contents of The Bugle are not necessarily the views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, or The Laven Group, LLC. The appearance of advertising in The Bugle does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised. Any article or service advertised in The Bugle will be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to any non-merit factor of consumers. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, advertising from that source will be discontinued until the violation is corrected. The Bugle has a circulation of 15,000 copies. Editorial content is prepared, edited and provided by the Public Affairs Office of Fort Bliss, Bldg. 15, (915) 568-4088 or fax (915) 568-3749. Items submitted for publication in The Bugle should be sent to fortblissbugle@gmail.com, or sent to Fort Bliss, Texas 79916, by noon on Friday before issue. All submissions become Army property and should be typed, double-spaced with the author’s name, signature, and mailing address. Photos should have information attached describing photo and have photographer’s full name. The editor reserves the right to reject or edit all submissions or advertising that do not conform to The Bugle’s journalistic standards. All photos are U.S. Army unless otherwise designated. The Bugle’s classified ad page is a free service reserved for active duty personnel, military retirees, military family members and DAC’s only. Because there is no fee, the only advertisements permitted to be published on this page are ads that cannot be considered commercial ventures. Ads must be written on the standard form published from time to time, or located at Bldg. 15. As classified ads are personal in nature, The Bugle cannot publish ads received through “Shotgun” mail or by fax. The Bugle is a registered trademark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Jan. 12, 1988, #1472244. The Bugle is published by the commanding general of Fort Bliss through The Laven Group, LLC, 5959 Gateway Blvd. West, Ste. 450, El Paso, Tx. 79925 • 772-0934, fax; 772-1594, email: susan@lavenpublishing.com. Check out the online version of The Bugle at http://fortblissbugle.com. Click on the e-Edition tab to view the entire newspaper electronically. For Bugle advertising information, call the Laven Publishing Group at 915-772-0934. For rates and mechanical information, visit www.lavenpublishing.com and click on the advertise tab.