With a grassroots-centered approach to outreach and education, we assist consumers with their financial literacy by teaching the importance of bank accounts and credit ratings, effective ways to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud, proactive approaches to financial management, and avoidance of predatory lending practices that ensnare consumers with promises of easy money or debt elimination but often result in hefty fees and additional debt.
Georgia Watch’s FPP provides low-wealth individuals and communities the tools they need to attain and improve financial literacy.
Georgia Watch works to educate and empower consumers by:
- Providing tailored workshops designed to encourage proactive approaches to financial management, debt elimination, managing bank accounts and credit ratings, and avoiding predatory lending products, such as payday and title pawn loans.
- Conducting in-depth research on priority issues related to consumer finances.
- Training intermediaries and advocates on how to assist clients with identifying, preventing and reporting identity theft, scams and fraud.
- Providing commentary on proposed legislation at the federal and state level that has the potential to impact consumer protections around financial services or products.
FINANCIAL PROTECTION RESOURCES:
|Credit Reporting||Each year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) releases a list of consumer reporting companies. This list includes the three nationwide consumer reporting companies as well as other smaller companies that focus on certain market areas and consumer segments. The list provides tips to help determine which company may be important to you.||CFPB 2018 List of Consumer Reporting Companies|
|Identity Theft||A brief guide about how to protect yourself from identity theft.||Avoiding Identity Theft|
|Identity Theft||Some tips about how to protect your personal and financial information in light of the Equifax breach.||What You Need to Know About Equifax Breach|
|Military Consumer Protection||Free app designed to help Georgia-based servicemembers, veterans and their families be more informed consumers.||Basic Training App|
|Tax Preparation||Learn about free tax preparation assistance, as well as how to avoid the unnecessary expense of paid preparers, keep more of your tax refunds, and choose your tax preparer wisely.||Preparing for Tax Season|
|Military Consumer Protection||A set of infographics offering useful tips about how to protect yourself in the marketplace.||Military Consumer Protection Tips|
|Military Consumer Protection||A guide containing pertinent information regarding key consumer issues as well as state and federal legal protections for military personnel in the marketplace.||Georgia Military Consumer Protection Guide|
|Crédito||También conocido como un bloqueo de seguridad, esta herramienta le permite restringir el acceso a su informe de crédito.||Congelar su Crédito: Preguntas Frecuentes|
|Consejos para Evitar las Estafas para Los americanos de mayor||Los americanos de mayor edad son uno de los grupos más grandes sujetos a fraudes. Las personas de la tercera edad generalmente tienen buen crédito y un patrimonio que los ladrones intentan robar. Los estafadores cuentan con que las personas mayores son demasiado respetuosas para hacer preguntas especificas o decir que “no”.||Consejos para Evitar las Estafas (Spanish)|
|Payday Lending||Georgia consumers have been spared the crippling cost of paying tripledigit interest on payday loans. Georgia has saved its families over $350 million in hard earned income since banning payday lenders in 2004.||Payday Lending Report|
|Credit Freeze||Credit freeze, which severely limits access to an individual’s credit file, is the single most effective tool to fight new account fraud, a devastating form of identity theft which occurs when a thief opens a line of credit in a victim’s name.||Credit Freeze Report|
|Foreclosure||Part II of a Financial Protection Program report outlining policy reform to curb reckless lending in the State of Georgia.||Georgia Foreclosure Crisis Report: Part II|
|Foreclosure||Part I of a Financial Protection Program report outlining the rippling effects of reckless lending in Georgia.||Georgia Foreclosure Crisis Report: Part I|
|Debt Settlement||Debt settlement companies target financially distressed people and offer to negotiate with creditors on their behalf in an attempt to reach a lump sum settlement for less than the full amount owed. BUT, the practice exposes consumers to substantial financial risks.||What is Debt Settlement?|
|Senior Scams||Tips for avoiding and reporting incidents of identity theft and scams, specifically for older adults.||Avoiding Senior Scams & ID Theft|
|Credit||What is a credit freeze? Find out how freezing your credit can protect your assets, and the credit of those you love.||Credit Freeze FAQs|
READ OUR LATEST UPDATES ON PERSONAL FINANCE:
By Michael E. Kanell - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Some Georgia bankers joined U.S. Sen. David Perdue in praising this week’s rollback of the Dodd-Frank law’s restrictions on banks, although consumer groups criticized the measure. The new banking law, signed by President Trump…
[caption id="attachment_10708" align="aligncenter" width="694"] Image courtesy of the AJC.[/caption] By Shelia M. Poole and Michael E. Kanell - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution As the door to his home opens, Tony Caldwell, 58, shifts his wheelchair slightly to accommodate his guests. The…
By Michael E. Kanell - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta-based SunTrust on Friday said it feared that a now-former employee had wrongly accessed basic information about 1.5 million customers. The company became aware in late February that the person –…