The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has expanded a financial education tool called Misadventures in Money Management (MiMM), which is aimed at educating service members and helping them manage their money.
The CFPB announced the expansion on Thursday (May 23). MiMM was initially created for future service members who had signed a contract to enlist but hadn’t yet been to basic training. The program has now expanded to include all service members on active duty, including the Reserve or the National Guard.
“Misadventures in Money Management is a valuable resource for service members and their families that will help them understand their options in the financial marketplace so they can avoid the most common mistakes,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “Improving the financial readiness of our military service members is important so they can focus on the mission at hand.”
The program was launched about three years ago, and was then updated to include support for high school and college students enrolled in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. The tool goes over topics like smart financial decision making, picking the right financial institution and understanding protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and also includes information on how debt can affect a career in the military.
In other CFPB news, the organization said it filed a lawsuit in federal court against a debt collection agency that allegedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The lawsuit targets Forster & Garbus, LLP, a debt collection law firm based in New York. According to the allegations by the CFPB, the firm represented to “consumers that attorneys were meaningfully involved in its lawsuits when, in fact, attorneys were not meaningfully involved in preparing or filing them. The Bureau’s complaint also alleges that Forster & Garbus violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts and practices by making such representations to consumers through its lawsuits.”
The CFPB said it is seeking “an injunction against Forster & Garbus, as well as damages, redress to consumers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and the imposition of a civil money penalty.” The amount of damages being sought was unspecified.