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To Her Excellency M. Jodi Rell, Governor - page 24 / 25

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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

The Government Relations and Consumer Affairs Division provides assistance to the public with inquiries and complaints regarding banking, mortgage lending and other consumer credit matters, and securities and business opportunity issues. The division also directs the agency's legislative program, manages media relations and coordinates financial and investor education outreach efforts.

Consumer Assistance

As a fundamental part of its mission, the department is committed to protecting Connecticut citizens in transactions with financial institutions, as directed by state law, and in

assisting with consumer department’s Government 16,045 telephone inquiries

complaints Relations and 3,041

and dispute resolution.

In 2008, examiners in the

and

Consumer

Affairs

Division

handled

approximately

written complaints from the public.

As a result of their

efforts, the department obtained approximately $2,054,000 behalf of consumers during the period. In addition, the Foreclosure Assistance Hotline in 2008.

in adjustments or reimbursements Division handled 4,828 calls to

on its

Outreach

the

The public

Government Relations and Consumer Affairs Division increased its effort

through

outreach.

In

2008

agency

employees

conducted

numerous

to educate talks and

presentations throughout the state on fraud and protection. The audiences professional organizations.

issues including banking scams, identity theft and investor included union groups, rotary clubs, veterans, seniors and

In the spring of 2008 department staff actively participated in a series of housing fairs organized by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority for homeowners concerned about foreclosure. The fairs were held in Norwich, Waterbury, Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven. In the fall of 2008 another round of housing fairs was held in Vernon, Bridgeport, East Hartford, Norwalk and Meriden.

The department continued to develop a strong working relationship with AARP- Connecticut. On June 24, 2008 the Department of Banking and AARP-Connecticut co-hosted a free event at the North End Senior Center in Hartford, entitled, “Safe Investor Seminar: Avoiding Investor and Consumer Fraud.” This free event featured presentations by agency staff on protecting your nest egg, avoiding securities fraud and preventing identity theft.

Staff from the agency’s Securities Division conducted a series of educational workshops at senior centers throughout Connecticut in the spring and summer of 2008. In coordination with AARP-Connecticut, these presentations were designed to help older consumers learn about common scams, make informed investment decisions and protect themselves from fraudulent practices.

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