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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FTC testifies on its efforts to combat fraud against servicemembers

Federal Issues FTC Servicemembers Consumer Protection Consumer Finance U.S. Supreme Court Enforcement

Federal Issues

On July 13, the FTC announced that it testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security regarding the Commission’s efforts to combat fraud and related threats against servicemembers. The testimony highlighted efforts by the Commission to protect military members, such as: (i) proposing a rule to eliminate “junk fees” and “bait-and-switch” advertising tactics related to the sale, financing, and leasing of motor vehicles by dealers (covered by InfoBytes here); (ii) taking action against a fast-food chain that allegedly targeted veterans with false promises while withholding information required by the FTC’s Franchise Rule; and (iii) providing $1.2 million in refunds and debt cancellation for students who allegedly were deceived by a for-profit medical school. The testimony also discussed other “challenges in protecting consumers from fraud and abuse,” and referenced  the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in AMG Capital Mgmt., LLC v. FTC, which held that the FTC does not have the ability to obtain monetary relief under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act (covered by InfoBytes here). Additionally, the FTC said its education and outreach efforts, including its focus on identity theft, is a “critical part of the agency’s consumer protection and fraud prevention work.”

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