By Debbie Gregory.
Predatory lending practices, broadly defined, are the fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair tactics some lenders use to dupe people to take out loans they can’t afford. So if a lender practices deception, exploitation, violates consumer protection laws, or charges more than reasonable loan terms, they are considered to be predatory lenders. Now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) wants troops and military law officials to pass on their complaints about these predatory lenders.
The DOJ is relaunching its Servicemembers.gov site to include expanded assistance to service members looking for legal help, education and information about ongoing pertinent cases.
“Servicemembers.gov is a work in progress and we are just at the beginning of a long process toward creating the best possible educational resource for you and your families, and for the people who want to help protect your rights,” said Stuart Delery, Acting Associate Attorney General. “We look forward to feedback from the military community as we work to make the website as useful as possible.”
To that end, the DOJ is conducting a series of town hall-style visits at military installations across the country.
The Department of Justice protects a servicemember’s civilian employment rights by enforcing the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), voting rights by enforcing the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 (“UOCAVA”), and financial security through SCRA.
Servicemembers who believe their rights under USERRA, UOCAVA, or the SCRA have been violated will be able to file a complaint with the Department of Justice on this site. Servicemembers, veterans, and their families will also find information about where to obtain legal assistance.
The Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative focuses on case enforcement over financial protections and education on troops’ consumer and legal rights under SCRA.
“I believe we have come a long way since the launch of the Service Members and Veterans Initiative one year ago, but there is more we can do to fight for those who fight for our country,” Delery said. “It is vital that we at the Justice Department do our jobs to enforce the criminal and civil laws designed to protect service members, veterans and their Families, so that you can focus on your invaluable work protecting our nation,” Delery said