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U.S. Representative Maxine Waters Votes to Pass Legislation That Will Protect Military Families From High-Pressure Brokers and Their Financially Devastating Products

July 20, 2009
Press Release

United States Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), a senior Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, today voted to protect military families from predatory sales practices and bogus insurance plans being pushed by insurance agents, investment advisors, and other financial institutions.  The legislation, S. 418, the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act, passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 418-3.

"When our soldiers are fighting overseas, they should not have to worry about unscrupulous representatives from financial institutions sucking them into insurance or other investment schemes that will ruin them financially," said Rep. Waters.  "Some of these organizations have claimed that the federal government had endorsed their products in order to pressure service members, veterans, and their families into purchasing outdated policies or plans with high interest rates.  This legislation will stop that practice."

Rep. Waters added, "Some of these sales people, who used high-pressure sales tactics, were going onto military bases, knocking on the doors of service members and selling them products that, generally, are no longer marketable to the civilian population.  If these products are not good enough to sell to the general public, then we should not allow them to be sold to service members, veterans, and their families."

S. 418 will require substantial disclosure regarding the sale of financial products and insurance policies on military bases.  It will require predatory salespeople to inform military personnel of alternative insurance products available through the federal government and disclose how the government price would compare to their products.  The bill encourages states to join with the Department of Defense to create uniform regulations and standards that will put in place additional protections for members of the Armed Services and protect them from predatory sales practices on military bases.