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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Protect Yourself from Financial Trouble

Older people feel alone in many ways, not the least of which is in how they deal with financial complications. But at least in that regard, seniors should not feel alone.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a federal agency that was created following the 2008 financial crisis. The CFPB’s only goal is to protect consumers. Since its inception it has reviewed more than 1 million consumer complaints and has helped people solve financial problems in a variety of areas, including mortgages, loans, credit reports and more. While it does not exist exclusively to help seniors, a good portion of those it works with are people 62 and older.

A recent report from the CFPB highlights some of the complaints and issues from seniors that it has dealt with. They included servicing problems with reverse mortgages, difficulties recovering money after financial scams, confusion around deferred-interest credit cards, and charges for unauthorized add-on products.

There are steps that older consumers can take to prevent these kinds of problems. Those include trying to avoid being isolated, getting help paying bills, giving your children online access to monitor your accounts or naming specific agents on durable powers of attorney.

 If someone is trying to sell you something and you have any uncertainty, don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust for help. Don’t feel pressured by sales people expressing urgency.

In the end, if you believe you have been taken advantage of, you can contact the CFPB online at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/, call toll free 1-885-411-2372 or write to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.


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