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Consumer Law Protections and Policies for Military Members


Level: Advanced
Runtime: 198 minutes
Recorded Date: October 30, 2020
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Agenda

        • Updates on Consumer Protection Policies for Servicemembers
                - Military Lending Act
                - Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
                - Zero Percent Interest for Deployed Servicemembers
        • Overview of SCRA
                - Amendment - 50 US Code Sec. 3955
                - Summary
        • Consumer Law Highlights from the FTC
                - FTC and the COVID-19 Era
                - FTC Financial Practices Authority
                - FTC and Unfair and Deceptive Practices (UDAPs)
                - Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E
                - FTC Holder Rule and FTC Credit Practices Rule
                - Recent Enforcement Examples
        • Resources to Assist Victims of Financial Fraud
                - FINRA and FINRA Foundation Overview
                - Supporting Military Financial Educators
                - Action Steps for Advocates
                - Preventing Investment Fraud
                - Mass Marketing Fraud Prevention
                - Preventing Identify Theft
                - Preventing Mortgage Fraud
        • Q & A

Runtime: 3 hours, 18 minutes
Recorded: October 30, 2020

Description

This program examines consumer law protections and policies for servicemembers and veterans. This will highlight a number of consumer protection and enforcement laws, including the Military Lending Act, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and others. You will also learn about various unfair and deceptive practices, recent enforcement actions, the impact of COVID-19 and scams, and extended protections during the pandemic.

This program was recorded on October 30th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Panelists

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Shay Cook

Financial Readiness Manager
FINRA Investor Education Foundation

As a lifetime member of the military community, Shay Cook has traveled the world and earned two college degrees. Each day she "pays it forward" as the CEO and Founder of Crusaders for Change (C4C), LLC. C4C's mission is to empower and equip individuals with the tools they need to become financially free through consultation, counseling, coaching and classes. Recently, she received the awesome opportunity to serve as a consultant with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation as the Financial Readiness Manager.

Shay, who has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Maryland University College and a master's in psychology from Walden University, began her career in the financial services field after she married her husband Nathaniel, an Air Force computer systems administrator, in 1999.

The couple moved to Germany where she took a job at a credit union. Three years later, Shay and Nathaniel moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where she worked in several positions at a credit union near Offutt Air Force Base, including a stint as an assistant manager and senior financial services officer. In her spare time, she volunteered at homeless shelters where she offered free credit report counseling.

"I first became interested in the financial services field while working for the credit union in Nebraska," Shay said. "They offered us a lot of training on credit reports and lending procedures."

In 2005, the couple, with their daughter Alana, moved to Turkey. There, Shay became a community readiness consultant at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. A co-worker noticed that Shay had a knack for financial topics and suggested she apply for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's Military Spouse Fellowship Program.

Shay, a native of Baltimore (MD), returned to her home state in May 2007, the same month she was accepted to the program. She began volunteering at Fort Meade Army Community Service (ACS) and, in January 2008, began work as a relocation readiness program manager for ACS at Walter Reed.

Less than a year later, she was promoted to supervisor of the Financial Readiness Program and Army Emergency Relief (AER). She organized and taught financial classes, ran credit clinics and worked one-on-one with military service members, their spouses and civilians. Many of her clients were referred by the command, fellow soldiers and local civilian agencies, and all were thankful for the free service, she said.

As the Walter Reed Financial Readiness Program manager she also assisted permanent party military service members and Wounded Warriors who were injured in Afghanistan and Iraq. When working with Wounded Warriors, she focused on how best to allocate the money they received as a result of their injuries and helped those leaving the service prepare for life outside the military.

Helping service members repair their credit is one of Shay's specialties. She has helped financially-troubled service members get out of debt and work to rebuild their credit history. One resource she uses with her clients is the free FICO® score available to service members and their families through SaveAndInvest.org, which allows them to see where their credit score stands.

From March 2010 to the closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC in September 2011, Shay was the Director of ACS, where she managed several family programs, including Financial Readiness, Relocation and Employment. From there, Shay moved on to Coast Guard HQ (2011-2018), Office of Work-Life as a HQ Family Support Services program manager. She was later promoted to Chief of the Family Services Division, where she had oversight of several family service programs, including the Personal Financial Management, Child Development Services, Deployment, Ombudsman, Relocation, School Liaison, and Transition for the entire Coast Guard.

Shay has found that the fellowship has given her the information she needs to provide great service to her clients—and has reinforced her personal financial savvy.

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Jennifer Davis

Government Relations Deputy Director
National Military Family Association

Jennifer Davis became a Government Relations Deputy Director at the National Military Family Association in 2018. She is responsible for programs relating to spouse employment and education, financial literacy, and food insecurity. These areas touch on elements such as state licensure, consumer education, and advocating for the protection and enhancements of legislation and policy effecting these issues. She is co-chair of both Personnel Committee and Taxes and Social Security Committee of the Military Coalition (TMC). Additionally, Jennifer serves on the Board of Advisors for Military Saves.

Prior to joining the Association, Jennifer served in various roles at the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) including as Director of Military and Government Relations. She earned a bachelor of science in interior design from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh as well as a diploma in resident planning. Before going back to school and working in advocacy, Jennifer served in the United States Air Force as an imagery analyst at the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Offutt AFB, Nebraska. Over the last 20 years as a service member and military spouse, Jennifer has lived in Texas, Nebraska, Hawaii, Florida, and Virginia. She currently resides in Springfield, Virginia with her son and husband, who serves on active duty in the United States Air Force.

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Carole L. Reynolds

Senior Attorney, Division of Financial Practices
Federal Trade Commission

Carole L. Reynolds is a Senior Attorney in the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Financial Practices. She is active in enforcement‚ regulatory work‚ and policy areas of retail credit‚ payment systems and electronic banking‚ among other financial services fields. She conducts compliance workshops and addresses domestic and international organizations.

Ms. Reynolds is the recipient of the FTC's Robert Pitofsky Lifetime Achievement Award, the Paul Rand Dixon Award for Consumer Protection‚ Meritorious Service Awards‚ and Bureau of Consumer Protection Director's Awards. She is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bars‚ and holds J.D.‚ M.A.‚ and B.A. degrees.

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Mike Saunders

Director of Military & Consumer Policy
Veterans Education Success

Mike Saunders leads our consumer protection policy work, including servicemembers’ protections under the Military Lending Act and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and veterans’ student loan rights, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness and big victories forcing the Education Department to honor disabled veterans’ rights to student loan relief. As an attorney, Mike also helps advocate for the rights of individual veterans who come to us for free help.

Mike joined Veterans Education Success as Director of Military & Consumer Policy in July 2018, bringing professional experience as a long-time policy advocate for veterans at The Retired Enlisted Association.

As Deputy Legislative Director for 8 years at The Retired Enlisted Association, Mike represented the interests of enlisted personnel before Congress on tax issues, consumer issues, and veterans benefits.

A third generation member of the Army, Mike served in the Army from 1999 to 2001, in Bravo Company, 1-66 Armor, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, the oldest tank regiment in the Army.

Mike has degrees in history and economics from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and a law degree from the University of Richmond.

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Aniela Szymanski

Senior Director for Legal Affairs & Military Policy
Veterans Education Success

Aniela Szymanski is is the Senior Director for Legal Affairs and Military Policy. Prior to joining Veterans Education Success, Aniela was the Director of Government Relations for Veterans Benefits and Guard and Reserve issues at Military Officers Association of America where she worked on a variety of military and veteran-related legislative and policy matters including those related to the GI Bill.

Prior to her time at Military Officers Association of America, Aniela was a visiting professor of practice and supervising attorney at the College of William & Mary School of Law’s Veterans Benefits Clinic. She taught a veterans law course and supervised students working in a legal clinic representing veterans in claims for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as veterans seeking discharge upgrades from boards for correction within the Department of Defense. She has also served as an adjunct professor at William & Mary School of Law and the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Aniela has also worked as an appellate attorney at a mid-size law firm and clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

In addition to working at Veterans Education Success, Aniela is currently a reserve officer of the U.S. Marine Corps where she serves as a judge advocate and civil affairs officer. In 2011, she participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as a civil affairs team leader where she worked with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the British District Stabilisation Team, and U.S. ground forces to transition governance and build local economic capacity. Her other assignments between active duty and the reserves have included legal assistance attorney, deputy staff judge advocate, staff judge advocate, legal officer at Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, as well as civil and administrative law attorney.

Aniela is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of San Francisco School of Law. Her military education includes Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff College.


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