ASSURE Act protects retirees from predatory lenders

A bill being introduced in the House of Representatives this week would protect federal, postal and military retirees from predatory lenders who target their pensions.

The Annuity Safety and Security Under Reasonable Enforcement, or ASSURE, Act, sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., expands on the 1968 Truth in Lending Act to cover lenders who issue loans to federal pensions.

Many of these lenders disguise these loans as pension advances. The proposed law would create more transparency and oversight of these pension loans and set the maximum interest rate on them at the prime rate, plus 6 percent. The bill also gives retirees the right to sue their lenders if they break the rules. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been tasked with oversight authority of the provision.

“These simple measures will protect federal retirees from exploitation, allow individuals to assert their rights in court, and ensure that retirees maintain their financial independence,” Cartwright said in a statement.

The bill has the support of 31 House Democrats and Republicans and is supported by the American Federation of Government Employees, National Active and Retired Federal Employees and the American Postal Workers Union.

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