Holly Petraeus, who served as the Better Business Bureau’s military liaison, is now the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs. As such, she’s redoubled her commitment to ensuring that servicemembers and their families are protected from predatory lending. If you’re part of a military family, or have friends or neighbors who serve, you should read her article on CFPB.
Petraeus, who happens to be the wife of (Ret.) General David Petraeus, discusses the burdens that military families shoulder when they receive orders to move to a new duty station and are denied short sales and home modifications. She notes that the Treasury Department has taken steps to help, but it sounds as though there’s a long way to go. She also discusses predatory marketing by for-profit colleges regarding military education benefits, as well as scams by used car dealers involving yo-yo financing.
Petraeus also voices concern about debt collectors calling servicemembers and threatening them with the Uniform Code of Military Justice or telling them that their security clearances will be compromised if they don’t pay. She recounts, “We even heard of a debt collector telling a widow that she had to use the money from her husband’s combat death gratuity to pay the debt immediately.” That’s simply beyond the pale.