FTC: Order free materials for National Consumer Protection Week 2017

FTC: Order free materials for National Consumer Protection Week 2017

 National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is around the corner! The annual event – March 5-11, 2017 – is a time to help people understand their consumer rights, make well-informed decisions about money, and spot scams.

Thinking about hosting an event? Our new feature page has all the information and resources you need to spread the word. You can personalize an article with your event details, share pre-written social media messages, and use our new Military Tool Kit to help reach out to the military community.

Interested in free consumer education materials for your event? Check out the FTC’s free publications on avoiding scams, managing debt, identity theft, and more. To have your materials in time, just visit ftc.gov/bulkorder and place your order by February 1, 2017. You also can check out the free resources offered by our NCPW partners to share with family, friends, and your community.

Visit ncpw.gov for more information. And have a great National Consumer Protection Week!

EITC Awareness Day – Friday, January 27, 2017 Join us in making the 11th annual Awareness Day as successful as last year’s

EITC Awareness Day

Join us for Awareness Day On Friday, January 27, 2017

Join us in making the 11th annual Awareness Day as successful as last year’s. Last year, we had our first experience using Thunderclap. We had 255 participants with a combined social reach of over 372,000. And,  supporters  sponsored 241 live events and other activities such as news releases and articles for EITC Awareness Day.

This year we want to even make it bigger. And, we want to increase eligibility awareness of other refundable credits that many miss or don’t get right. Along with the earned income tax credit (EITC), we want to include the child tax credit and the refundable part, the additional child tax credit (CTC/ACTC), and the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC).

What is Awareness Day? The IRS joins partners nationwide to launch the Awareness Day outreach campaign to ensure  millions workers get the EITC they earned and get it right. We also ask you to join us in getting the right message out about the CTC/ACTC and the AOTC to the right people who deserve the credits. The IRS invites community organizations, elected officials, state and local governments, schools, employers, and other interested parties to join a national grassroots effort to increase awareness of these credits and put a large spotlight on them. We want to  generate extensive news media coverage on this specific day (or days in close proximity) to increase awareness among potentially eligible taxpayers at the time most are filing or getting ready to file their federal income tax returns.

The event is a joint venture between IRS and its many partners and stakeholders. Intensive media coverage helps us reach the broadest possible range of eligible taxpayers, including the underserved populations and the newly eligible taxpayers.

IRS estimates four of five eligible taxpayers claim and get the EITC.  Best of all, EITC combined with the CTC/ACTC is a financial boost for working people and your local economy. EITC and the CTC, Child Tax Credit, greatly reduce poverty for working families. These working family credits lifted an estimated 9.4 million people out of poverty, including 5 million or more than half of them children.  Source: Source: Chuck Marr, Chye-Ching Huang, Arloc Sherman and Brandon DeBot, CBPP-EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and support children’s Development, Research finds, October 1, 2015.

Reaching Out!

We need your help to capture the attention of those eligible for EITC, the CTC/ACTC and AOTC and motivate them to explore whether they qualify. We also want to lead them to no-cost options for tax return help–volunteer tax assistance and Free File and make sure they get it right.

Join us in getting the word out to those who qualify but don’t file a tax return or miss the credits they deserve. Explore our Partner’s Outreach Toolkit for ideas and the products you need to get the word out. Or, see our Quick EITC Outreach kit highlighting some ideas and our key products.

There are millions of workers who miss out on the benefits of refundable credits each year either because they are newly qualified or don’t otherwise need to file. That is why this day is so important in reaching the one in five eligible workers who could but do not claim the EITC and those who miss out on the CTC/ACTC and the AOTC.

Many tools and resources are available to support you:

More Resources:

See our Basic Marketing Materials for more products and ideas.–news releases, how to tips on writing a feature story or letters to the editor, and more.

See our Tried and True Tips for keeping taxpayers informed and raising their awareness of this very important credit

Find Information Specific to:

Find out how you can get involved in your community and increase Awareness:

Contact your IRS relationship manager or e-mail us at partner@irs.gov
If you are affiliated with the government ,see the Governmental Liaison Contact Page for more information

California State Controller’s Office: Financial Fitness and Consumer Protection

California State Controller’s Office: Financial Fitness and Consumer Protection

Financial Fitness and Consumer Protection

The California State Controller’s primary job is to guard the state’s fiscal health.  However, State Controller Betty Yee is equally concerned about the financial – and physical – well-being of individual Californians.  She has compiled resources to help people make the most of their personal finances, from opening a first bank account, entering or re-entering the workforce, or planning for a long-term savings goal. The information available on these web pages also may help you prepare for and manage a financial crisis.

Controller Yee encourages you to choose from the topics below to learn about becoming a more financially fit Californian!

Add the Financial Fitness logo button to your website by following these instructions.

ICYMI – CFPB takes action against Reverse Mortgage Companies for Deceptive Advertising

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against three reverse mortgage companies for deceptive advertisements, including claiming that consumers could not lose their homes. The CFPB is ordering American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, and Aegean Financial to cease deceptive advertising practices, implement systems to ensure they are complying with all laws, and pay penalties.

“These companies tricked consumers into believing they could not lose their homes,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “All mortgage brokers and lenders need to adhere to federal advertising disclosure requirements in promoting their products.”  

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that allows homeowners who are 62 or older to access the equity they have built up in their homes and defer payment of the loan until they pass away, sell, or move out. 

To read more about the details surrounding this enforcement action, read our press release.

Reverse mortgage ads don’t always tell the whole story. Last year, the CFPB released a consumer advisory with things to consider when you see reverse mortgage advertisements. 

If you have a problem with your reverse mortgage

Check out Ask CFPB to learn more about reverse mortgages. You can also download a printer-friendly version of this information to share with friends or clients.

If you’re having a problem with your reverse mortgage or having problems getting through to your mortgage servicer, you can submit a complaint to us online or by calling (855) 411-2372 or TTY/TDD (855) 729- 2372. We’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get you a response within 15 days.

For more information about how reverse mortgages work and questions to ask, read our guide about reverse mortgages for older consumers and their families. Do you or a loved one have a reverse mortgage loan? Here are three steps you should take.

CFPB Helping Consumers Prepare for Delays in Receiving Tax Refunds

Starting this tax season, consumers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on their income tax returns may have to wait longer than in previous years to receive their tax refund. Due to a new law, the IRS will not start direct depositing or mailing tax refunds, which include the EITC or the ACTC, until February 15, 2017.

Check out the CFPB blogpost here:

In the blogpost, we outline steps consumers can take to make sure the IRS can process their tax return as quickly as possible, and tips for consumers to financially prepare if they have to wait longer than expected to receive their refund.

Prior to each tax season, we work to help consumers make the most of their tax refund by providing ideas on free and easy ways to file their returns, and by offering information about ways to save all or part of their tax refund. Stay tuned for more information about saving at tax time in a blogpost in early 2017.

America Saves New Partner Packet: Ring in the New Year with a New Financial You

Another election season is behind us and one thing is for sure, many people are uncertain of what their financial situation will be in the coming years. What doesn’t change is the fact that people still need to have money saved to pay for unexpected expenses and even more to realize their savings goals. While the future may not be clear, we are ready and excited to take advantage of opportunities and meet the challenges that will arise. We look forward to continue our with you to motivate millions of members, customers, clients, employees, friends, and family members to set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically.

– Nancy Register, America Saves Director

Partner Resource Packet: Ring in the New Year with a New Financial You

The holiday reports are in and retail spending is expected to reach its highest point since the Great Recession. Many reports also show that people are feeling more secure about their finances as a whole and are planning their purchases more strategically. We want to celebrate this fact by encouraging savers to take these good financial habits with them into the New Year.
View the Partner Packet
The savings tools, digital content, and strategies found in the partner packet are yours to share with clients and constituents.

Free Holiday Budget Printable – America Saves

Free Holiday Budget Printable – America Saves

Free Holiday Budget Printable

It’s the season of giving! If last year is any indication, you can expect to spend a budget busting $800 or more on gifts. And then there’s the plane ticket back home, party dresses, tinsel, wrapping paper, the holiday roast, and so much more.

Screenshot oh holiday budget worksheet

Heading into the holidays with a savings and spending plan can help keep your costs in check, and your days that much more merry and bright. That’s why America Saves, a non-profit organization committed to helping Americans save money, reduce debt, and build wealth, designed this free holiday budget download.

Our easy holiday budget was created to help you plan your spending and stay within budget. We even included categories that are easy to forget, like tips for the babysitter or year-end giving. Just be sure to set your spending limit before you start budgeting.

To download the free budget worksheet, all you need to do is make a commitment to yourself and your family to save. Having a savings plan makes you twice as likely to save successfully. So get started on your New Year’s resolution to save early and take the America Saves Pledge by selecting a savings goal and amount. Then we’ll keep you motivated with tips and reminders. Think of us as your own personal money support system.

Immediately after pledging, you will be redirected to you very own holiday budget printable. Now go make that list and check it twice!

Pledge to Save for Free Holiday Budget Printable

FDIC, SBA Announce Enhanced Money Smart for Small Business Curriculum

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced enhancements to Money Smart for Small Business, a resource that provides practical guidance for starting and managing a small business.

Money Smart for Small Business, a free curriculum available on the FDIC website, was jointly developed by the FDIC and SBA in 2012. The agencies expanded the program in response to feedback from the small business community. Three new modules were added, focusing on managing cash flow, planning for a healthy business, and helping learners to determine if owning a business is a good fit. The curriculum, which now includes 13 modules, is available for download in both English and Spanish. In addition, a Train-the-Trainer curriculum was created to help organizations train instructors to deliver the modules.

The agencies also simplified the process to join the Money Smart Alliance, a groupof nonprofit, government, and educational organizations that promotes and teaches Money Smart for Small Business. Organizations now can join the alliance by completing a simple online form.

Training modules can be taught in any order or independently and typically run 60–90 minutes. Each module, and the Train-the-Trainer curriculum, includes a fully scripted instructor guide, participant workbook, and PowerPoint slides that can be edited to meet the needs of any audience. These features and flexibility make Money Smart for Small Business a valuable resource for entrepreneurs.

FDIC Money Smart for Small Business
SBA Money Smart for Small Business

Mortgage Refinancing Scams Prey on Military


Mortgage Refinancing Scams Prey on Military 


November 10, 2016
Service men and women are, unfortunately, often the targets of scams. One con that preys on military members is predatory lending, when unscrupulous companies use false promises to trick borrowers into bad loans.


How the Scam Works:

You get an offer – via mail, email or even social media – touting mortgage refinancing just for members of the military or veterans. The advertisement mentions special offers, such as government programs for veterans. It may claim to be endorsed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or be part of the official Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan program.


You call the number provided, and the refinancing company “guarantees” you an excellent interest rate. It may sound like a great deal, but proceed with caution! This has several red flags. Real lenders never guarantee a loan rate upfront, and the VA does not contact homeowners about mortgages. This may be a case of misleading advertising, or it might also be an outright scam, where con artists charge upfront fees and then vanish with your money.


Protect Yourself From a Predatory Loan Scam:


Mortgage refinancing is not the only loan scam targeting service members, veterans, and military families. Use caution when evaluating auto loans, student loans, and short term “payday” loans.

  • Don’t pay for the promise of a loan. It’s illegal for companies doing business by phone in the US to promise a loan and require payment before they deliver. All advance fee loans are illegal in Canada.
  • Investigate claims that it’s a government program. Scammers increase their credibility by connecting themselves to official or trustworthy institutions. Do your research and contact the government or your loan servicer first.
  • Legitimate lenders never guarantee a loan in advance. Real lenders will check your credit score and other documents before providing an interest rate and/or loan amount.
  • You are pressured to make a decision immediately. Phrases like “act fast” or “limited time offer” should be red flags indicating a possible scam. Scammers hope that time pressure makes victims more likely to make costly mistakes. Some legitimate companies use this sales technique, too, but you should never feel pressured to make a snap decision about something important.
  • Legitimate lenders don’t pressure you to pay via wire funds transfer, prepaid debit cards, or gift cards. These services are like cash. Once it leaves your hands, it is very difficult to trace and almost impossible to reverse.

For More Information


Visit BBB Military Line (bbb.org/military) to learn more about BBB’s consumer education program specifically for military members and their families.
To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).





This Scam Alert has been sponsored by Western Union, a BBB National Partner.




The Future of Retirement Savings in California

Join The Pew Charitable Trusts and the California Budget & Policy Center for an expert convening on Thursday, November 17, about California Secure Choice, the new retirement savings program that was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. During this half-day event, participants will discuss what this state-mandated retirement plan for the private sector will mean for employees and employers, explore key implementation questions, and look at how California’s retirement savings challenge compares with that in other states.

Featuring keynote remarks by
California State Treasurer John Chiang

Plus expert insights on:

  • What Secure Choice is and how it will work.
  • What Secure Choice means for employees and employers.
  • Retirement savings challenges in California and across the nation.

View the detailed agenda.

Thursday, November 17
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Sheraton Grand
1230 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Registration required by noon on November 14.


Or copy this link: http://www.cvent.com/d/lvqw1r

The hosts of this conference make every effort to comply with federal, state, and local government ethics rules when hosting events. The Pew Charitable Trusts is currently registered to lobby in California. Please make sure that your participation is consistent with applicable ethics rules.

Attendance is complimentary.

The Pew Charitable Trusts
901 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20004
© 2016 The Pew Charitable Trusts