Military families need better protection from predatory lenders, and the government should provide it, several organizations told federal regulators, in a request for information filed Dec. 14. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the military advocates specifically want the government to explain how they are enforcing the Military Lending Act (MLA), which Congress passed in 2007 as a protection against unscrupulous lenders.

The law sets an interest cap of 36 percent on certain kinds of credit, and offers other protections as well. For example, lenders cannot force military borrowers into arbitration in order to resolve disputes.

“Our request for information will help determine whether our regulators have committed to enforcing the MLA on behalf of military families, said Michael Best, who heads CFA’s advocacy-outreach program.

The Retired Enlisted Association, National Military Family Association, Air Force Sergeants Association, Chief Warrant and Warrant Officers Association [of the] U.S. Coast Guard, and the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service each signed on to CFA’s request.
They sent it to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission, National Credit Union Administration, and the Servicemember Affairs Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.