Service members, politicians and consumer advocates gathered in a round table meeting at the North Carolina National Guard headquarters today to discuss financial protections and hardships facing members of the military. Hundreds of service members struggling with debt have their security clearances revoked every year, making them ineligible for certain promotions and deployments. U.S. Representative Brad Miller says there are laws to help protect members of the military from predatory lending practices, but not enough people know about them.
Brad Miller: "We've gotta make sure we enforce the laws on the books. To foreclose on a service member is a misdemeanor. Now a misdemeanor's not much, but if there are thousands of them, maybe our U.S. attorney should think about spending some resources to get some convictions on misdemeanors to put the fear of God in lenders to make them understand that the law really applies to them the same way that it applies to every other American."
A Department of Defense survey last year found that service members consider their finances to be the second largest source of stress in their lives, after career concerns and before deployments and war.