4. Reverse mortgages. The bureau’s website, consumerfinance.gov, offers information and resources to help homeowners understand the risks and benefits of reverse mortgages. A toll-free hotline is also provided for older adults who are having trouble paying their mortgages (1-855-411-2372). "We're very excited about the focus on reverse mortgages," says Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumer's Union. "They'll be taking a close look at reverse mortgages to determine the suitability of the borrower." Banks says the bureau will look to identify practices that are unfair, deceptive or abusive, and will work to develop ways to make the reverse mortgage transactions easier to understand.
5. Overdrafts. The agency recently began an investigation into whether banks are fair in how they charge overdraft fees.
6. Investigations and enforcement. On its website, the bureau is taking complaints about mortgage and credit card companies in order to probe suspected wrongdoing and enforce consumer protection laws.
Carole Fleck is a senior editor at AARP.org.
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