September 24, 2013

Sen. Warren, Holly Petraeus, and Rep. Tsongas Hold Roundtable Discussions on Financial Issues Facing Veterans & Military Families

BOSTON, MA -- United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Office of Servicemember Affairs Holly Petraeus, and U.S. Representative and House Armed Services Committee member Niki Tsongas today held roundtable discussions with servicemembers, veterans, and their families at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, and at UMass Lowell.  

At the events, they discussed financial issues facing military families, and the CFPB's efforts to protect them from financial scams. The discussions focused on how Massachusetts servicemembers and their families could access resources available to them through the CFPB.

"We must take steps to protect armed servicemen and women, veterans, and their families who are often targeted by unfair and abusive financial practices," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "Our servicemembers and military families contribute so much to our country, and we owe them the best."

"I'm happy to visit the Bay State at the invitation of Senator Warren and spread the word about the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," said Holly Petraeus.  "We are here to serve servicemembers (active-duty, National Guard and Reserve), veterans and their families.  We provide opportunities for financial education, monitor the responses to military complaints to the CFPB, and work to be sure that state and Federal agencies address their unique challenges when it comes to consumer financial protection.  We hope the military and veterans in Massachusetts, and their families, will visit us at to learn more."

"Our servicemembers, who place their lives on the line for our nation, don't just face dangers and logistical challenges when they are on the front lines," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3). "Because of their constant need to relocate, their often-difficult transitions to civilian life, and the physical and mental wounds of war they carry, navigating financial services can be a significant challenge in some cases. Unfortunately, this can leave them vulnerable to the detestable but very real predatory business practices of those who seek to take advantage of them. As a Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, I have seen firsthand how crucial the issues of financial literacy, personal savings, and economic mobility are to the men and women of our armed forces. I was a strong supporter of Wall Street Reform legislation, which established the CFPB, and I applaud both Senator Warren's advocacy for creating this unique and essential agency and Holly Petraeus's leadership in the Office of Service Members Affairs. Together, we have enacted common sense initiatives to ensure our servicemembers successfully transition to civilian life. We have an obligation to protect those who protect us and I am grateful the CFPB is making such a truly significant impact."

Sen. Warren, Rep. Tsongas, and Mrs. Petraeus were joined at the events by Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans' Services Coleman Nee, who spoke about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' efforts to assist veterans and their families.