Supreme Court Ruling Will Help Protect Military Community From Financial Predators

Supreme Court Ruling Will Help Protect Military Community From Financial Predators
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A May 16 Supreme Court ruling will allow a critical government agency to continue its work in support of servicemembers, veterans, and their families – pursuing predatory lenders and enforcing service-earned financial protections.

The court’s 7-2 ruling upheld the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) structure. The case, Community Financial Services Association of America v. CFPB, challenged the agency's funding mechanism and the director's protection from removal by the president without cause. Aiding in this effort was a MOAA-backed amicus brief that shared the critical work the CFPB does on behalf of the uniformed services community.



The agency has aggressively cracked down on predatory lenders who engage in deceptive and abusive practices targeting servicemembers. It has taken numerous enforcement actions against companies offering unscrupulous loans, credit products, and other financial schemes that trap military households in cycles of debt and financial distress.


The CFPB also plays a vital role in enforcing and strengthening laws safeguarding the military community's consumer rights. This includes oversight of the Military Lending Act, landmark legislation passed in 2006 to curb exorbitant interest rates and opaque fees on credit extended to active duty personnel and their spouses. Under the CFPB's watch, the act's protections were significantly expanded in 2015 to cover more credit products exploiting members of the armed forces.


Through its Office of Servicemember Affairs, the agency has served as a vigilant watchdog identifying and combating the unique financial threats facing those who serve and sacrifice for the nation. Maintaining the CFPB's robust enforcement authorities is crucial to safeguarding military financial readiness and economic well-being.


[RELATED: Protect Your Pay: 6 Ways to Stop Scams Targeting Servicemembers, Retirees]


The CFPB's funding mechanism sets it apart from most federal agencies. Rather than going through the annual congressional appropriations process, the consumer watchdog receives its funding, currently around $600 million per year, directly from the Federal Reserve. If the Supreme Court had found this funding structure unconstitutional, the fate of the CFPB would have been at risk.


This is a welcome victory that ensures servicemembers, veterans, and their families will have an agency safeguarding their financial interests for years to come.


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About the Author

Cory Titus
Cory Titus

Titus separated from the Army in 2017 as a captain and is MOAA's Director of Government Relations for Servicemember Compensation and Veteran Benefits. He is currently studying social entrepreneurship at George Mason University with a focus on improving military financial education.