For older consumers keen to preserve their savings, report offers a helping hand

Source: 
Tampa Bay Tribune
Robert Trigaux

"Now that I am officially an ""older"" consumer — at least based on this report's criteria — I can offer firsthand confirmation that predatory lending and a poorly monitored debt collection industry are both alive and well in Florida.

That's why a 35-page report issued Thursday — Older Consumers in the Financial Marketplace — that looks at financial complaints filed by folks 62 and older to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resonates more to me now than it might have a decade ago.

The report analyzes specific complaints sent to the CFPB from older consumers nationwide. It's no shock that the 8,469 complaints from older Florida consumers was second in volume only to the 10,986 from California, a state with nearly twice the population of this one.

The report is a collaboration of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Frontier Group public policy firm. The report's part of a series of analyses looking at how consumers are dealing with the changing U.S. financial industry. The collapse of the financial industry in 2008 sparked Wall Street failures, forced mergers of major Wall Street investment firms like Merrill Lynch and others, and saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummet in March 2009 close to 7,000.

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