Press Release 

February 7, 2020



New Yorkers With Concerns About Predatory Lending or Debt Collection, Student or Auto Loan Issues, or Other Concerns Regarding Financial Products or Services Are Invited to Share Their Stories

Consumer Representatives Are Also Welcome to Testify

First Hearing Scheduled for Western New York Region on February 20, 2020

Building on Governor Cuomo’s sweeping consumer protection proposals included in the 2020 State of the State agenda, Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell today announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) will be holding consumer protection hearings to hear directly from New York consumers about their experiences with financial products and services, such as debt collection, auto lending practices, access to banking and financial services, and other consumer related issues.  

“A top priority of the Department is to protect consumers, and this is an opportunity to hear directly from New Yorkers regarding various financial products, from student loans to essential brick and mortar banking services,” said Superintendent Lacewell. “The Department welcomes consumers and local community leaders to the table, and we look forward to hearing their insights and concerns.”

The Superintendent, joined by the Department’s Director of Consumer Advocacy and Student Advocate and other DFS representatives, invite New Yorkers to share their stories and bring any concerns, insights, or questions related to consumer-facing financial products or services. Legal services personnel, financial counselors, local community leaders, industry representatives, and the general public, are also welcome to give testimony.

The hearing, the first of a series of statewide events, is organized as the Department seeks input to guide any actions with respect to implementing the many consumer protection proposals included in Governor Cuomo’s 2020 agenda, such as increasing consumer protection powers, expanding access to safe and affordable banking services, credit and financial education, licensing and regulating debt collection companies, fighting elder financial fraud, and addressing the student loan debt crisis’ impact on women of color.

A hearing for the Western New York region is scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, February 20: M. Dolores Denman Courthouse, 50 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. The hearing is open to the public.
  • All speakers will be limited to five (5) minutes.
  • Interested parties may submit written comments to be included in the hearing record.
  • Interested parties may also request to give oral testimony at the hearing. Such requests should include a copy of the proposed testimony and be made by 5 p.m. on February 14, 2020. Those invited to give oral testimony will be notified on February 18.
  • Time will also be reserved for attendees to sign up to share their stories the night of the hearing without making a prior request. 

Written comments for the hearing record will be accepted both in advance and for up to five business days after the hearing.  Requests to testify and written comments should be:

  • Mailed to New York State Department of Financial Services, Public Affairs Office – Consumer Protection 2020 Hearing, One State Street, New York, NY 10004, or
  • E-mailed to [email protected] with the subject line “Consumer Protection 2020 Hearing.”

An additional hearing in New York City and future locations will be announced in the near future.