Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has launched local consumer financial protection planning efforts in partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The city will begin an education campaign to raise consumer awareness of the scams and predatory practices businesses use.
“Even before COVID-19 impacted our community, Chattanoogans were turning to predatory lenders,” Berke says. “As many are looking for solutions to help with financial stress, it’s essential we educate our residents about the scams and fraudulent activity out there and provide them with ways to protect themselves.”
In the coming months, the City of Chattanooga will roll out a multipronged approach that prioritizes payday lending alternatives and supports family financial education programs.
The city joins Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Paul and Shelby County, Tennessee, as the second cohort of the CFE Fund’s Local Consumer Financial Protection Initiative, which supports local governments across the country in developing and enhancing their capacity to offer their residents consumer financial protection.
The City of Chattanooga will work with the CFE Fund to establish a local consumer protection agency, which will work to protect consumer assets through licensing, regulation, enforcement, mediation and education.
The city has received a $10,000 grant to begin planning for a local consumer financial protection initiative. This process will include a structured approach to identifying critical local consumer issues, convening key stakeholders and surveying the legal landscape that will inform the development of a strategic plan.
In 2017, with the support of both the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the CFE Fund selected four cities through the Local Consumer Financial Protection Initiative to build out their own consumer financial protection offices within their mayors’ administrations. These cities (Albuquerque, Denver, Nashville and Salt Lake City) have successfully launched their efforts.
Source: City of Chattanooga