The Consumer Services Division and Public Information Office joined efforts to increase media coverage and consumer awareness on a broader scale in 2002. The Department's consumer outreach campaign focused on providing useful tools designed to empower consumers to make wise financial decisions
Banking Department Representatives on Hand at New York State Fair in Syracuse, African American Cultural Festival in Albany, and Homebuyer Fair in Buffalo
A number of employees from the Department's Consumer Services Division manned information booths and were available to answer questions, distribute informational material, and offer consumers tips on the "do's and don'ts" when looking for a mortgage or comparing interest rates, checking accounts, or credit card rates. They provided consumers with informational brochures and aired the Department's Predatory Lending video.
The Banking Department also offered tips on how to avoid mortgage fraud during consumer protection week February 3-9, 2002.
Banking Department Outreach Expands to Subway, Buses, and Internet,
Aids Consumers and Industry
For the first time, the Banking Department launched a consumer education campaign on New York City Metro Transit Authority subways and buses in July. The ad ran on the subway and bus lines in all five boroughs. The consumer education campaign was designed to encourage people to use licensed budget planners that are regulated by the Department to avoid falling prey to fraud. The ads reached approximately 3.6 million daily riders on NYC subways and approximately 15 million riders on NYC buses.
Consumer Services Division Staff Continues to "Train the Trainers" on
The Banking Department continued to convene "train-the-trainers" sessions on subprime loans and predatory lending. The most recent session was held on October 8, 2002 in Auburn, NY for the annual conference of the Rural Housing Coalition of New York. These "train-the-trainers" sessions provide an opportunity to screen and discuss the Banking Department's educational video, entitled "Don't Lose Your Home: Don't Be a Victim of Predatory Lending, Avoid Home Equity Fraud" as well as an opportunity to distribute multiple copies of the Banking Department's three brochures entitled, "The ABCs of Subprime Mortgage Lending," "How to Avoid Home Equity Fraud," and "How to Protect Yourself Against Home Improvement Scams."
Foreign language versions of the brochures (in Chinese, Russian and Spanish) were also made available. The video and brochures cover the essential points of "Part 41 of The General Regulations of the Banking Board, Restrictions and Limitations on High Cost Home Loans."