CFPB Creates Office to Help Seniors Avoid Unfair and Deceptive Practices

With May being Older American’s month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would help to guide seniors through unique financial opportunities and challenges.

“Many older Americans live on fixed incomes with limited savings to cover unexpected medical or other expenses,” said the agency on its website. “People need access to reliable and relevant information and advice to help make their savings stretch farther.”

The agency said that older Americans are often the targets of investment scams and Ponzi schemes and knowing how to spot “fraudsters” can often be challenging, especially when they have been referred by a friend or family. As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the agency is required to create an office to help educate older Americans to avoid unfair and deceptive practices.

“The people just now reaching their sixties are part of America’s largest-ever generation of retirees. The CFPB is creating an Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans to ensure we serve this large community effectively,” the Bureau said.

The notice from the CFPB website briefly mentions reverse mortgages, which it notes “can help create a steady income during retirement, but it creates a large debt load.”

Dodd-Frank also requires the CFPB to conduct a study on the reverse mortgage industry within a year of its launch. The CFBP has been tight lipped as to the status of the study, but it is required to be completed no later than July 21, 2012.

The office is required to be active by January 21, 2012.

View the CFPB statement.

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