State of Delaware Delaware State Bank Commissioner
Department of Justice
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: September 2, 2003
ATTORNEY GENERAL AND BANK COMMISSIONER TEAM UP ON PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN
“Know the Facts” aimed at helping consumers avoid borrowing pitfalls
(Wilmington, DE): Delawareans will soon see roadside billboards, transit advertising and informational brochures with a message from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit and the State Bank Commissioner: “Know the Facts Before You Borrow Money.” The media campaign, funded through the Household Finance settlement, is designed to encourage Delaware consumers to “do their homework” – ask questions, research available options and, if necessary, contact the Bank Commissioner or the Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s office - to learn more about how to avoid borrowing pitfalls.
This consumer education campaign is wholly funded under the provisions of the recent Household Finance settlement that involved allegations of unfair and misleading mortgage practices in their sub-prime lending. In addition to providing compensation to individual Household borrowers, the court settlement included funds for each state to undertake a financial education campaign for the public. The Office of the State Bank Commissioner teamed up with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit and developed its joint campaign based on the most frequent questions and complaints received from the public by those offices on the issue of borrowing money.
Delaware State Bank Commissioner, Robert A. Glen commented, “Consumers should shop around and be careful before they sign. We also want people to know that our office can help if they have problems with financial institutions in Delaware.”
A brochure on car title lending, payday lending, high cost mortgages and check cashing fees has been developed as part of the campaign. The brochure is available by contacting the State Bank Commissioner’s office at (302) 739-4235 or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at 800-220-5424. The brochure is also available on the Attorney General’s website at attorneygeneral.delaware.gov. A second brochure, “Don’t Borrow Trouble,” originally created by the State Bank Commissioner on the topic of predatory lending, is also available by phone or on the website.
Attorney General M. Jane Brady stated, “The best way to assist consumers is to provide them with facts and resources so that they can make informed decisions when borrowing money.”
Later this Fall, members of the Attorney General’s office and Office of the State Bank Commissioner will hold community meetings to discuss lending issues with consumers. These meetings will be throughout the state and offered in conjunction with housing counseling agencies and other community organizations. Information about the community meetings will be announced in local publications in the coming weeks. If your community organization would like to host a meeting, please contact Lori Sitler at (302) 577-8314.