Mark Winston Griffith
Military Receives Financial Fairness We All Deserve
I've got a way of ensuring that you can enjoy top notch consumer protections and get treated like, well, a human being by the U.S. Congress.
Enlist in the United States Armed Forces.
Yesterday the Senate, while simultaneously gutting other serious attempts to secure relief for homeowners facing foreclosure in the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, passed provisions to "protect active duty service members and their families from foreclosure."
Responding to the devastating effects of subprime mortgages gone wild, the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 provides military families with what is essentially a nine month foreclosure moratorium. This is the very kind of bold action that housing advocates have been insisting is needed across the board in this country to help people save their homes.
I'm not here to argue that service men and women should not receive consideration for putting their lives on the line for this country. What I am pointing out, however, is that Congress seems to display a remarkable amount of clarity around a fair and humane way to treat people, and a sudden recognition of the hostile conditions within the American financial services industry, when it comes to people in the armed forces.
Another perfect exampleof this is the decision by Congress to essentially outlaw payday lending on military bases, while allowing it to persist elsewhere among the civilian population across the country. It's as if all the crackpot arguments offered by the financial services industry - "We are serving a real need here. Where else will people be able to go to get usurious, predatory loans?" - suddenly become useless on military territory.
What I suggest is that Congress carefully examine all the anti-predatory lending, consumer justice and economic opportunity carve-outs that military personnel get and use it as a basis for a new model of economic justice for all Americans.