Office of Financial Empowerment
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Top Ten Financial Resolutions for 2012
DCA issues important tips to help you protect your money and be a savvy consumer in the new year.
Read the press release with top 10 New Year’s financial resolutions
Learn about important tax credits
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site 
DCA and CUNY Celebrate First Full Semester of New Course in Financial Counseling
Formal Training Program Required for Financial Empowerment Center Counselors Now Available For Social Service Providers
Developed by DCA and CUNY, Consumer and Personal Finance is a three-credit course offered through CUNY's School of Professional Studies. The course is designed to give service providers across all fields the practical skills and knowledge to help their clients protect their money by focusing on the fundamentals of managing personal finances.
Read the press release
Download the course flyer
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you 
 
DCA Releases Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs
Initial Report of Series Details "Supervitamin Effect" of Improved Social Service Outcomes When Integrating Professional Financial Counseling
This first report documents DCA's work embedding one-on-one professional financial counseling within several City services, including homeless prevention, workforce development, domestic violence interventions, and the promising results. The series builds the case that fully integrating financial empowerment and asset building strategies into public programs will lead to more effective service delivery, improving outcomes while potentially saving money.
Read the press release
Download the report
Learn more about the City's Financial Empowerment Centers 
Visit Cities for Financial Empowerment Web site  
 
 

City Announces Launch of “Know Before You Enroll”
Newest “Protect Your Money” Ads Alert Adults to Predatory School Scams and Free and Low-Cost School Choices
Using the stories of real New Yorkers, the City reminds everyone pursuing degrees and training:

  • Explore free and low-cost adult education and training options
  • Check the quality of a school before enrolling and paying tuition
  • Don’t enroll in unlicensed schools
  • Get free, professional financial counseling

Read the press release
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site to view ads and learn more
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

  DCA Expands Protect Your Money Campaign to Include Video Series
To help New Yorkers protect their hard-earned dollars, DCA launched a video series that currently includes:
   •  Introduction from Commissioner Mintz
   •  Shopping Tips
   •  File a Complaint with DCA
Videos are available in English and Spanish. Launched in 2010, the Protect Your Money public awareness campaign encourages New Yorkers to take advantage of City services to take control of their own financial future. In June 2011, ads alerted New Yorkers to predatory services and scams and highlighted the successes of real people who got help from the City.
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site 

  NYC Partners with Seven Financial Institutions to Offer Municipal Workers Free Checking Account as Part of NYC Direct Deposit
Program Provides Thousands Safer, Easier, and Cheaper Way to Get Paid
In two simple steps, municipal employees and individual vendors receiving payments from the City can open NYC’s free account and enroll in direct deposit. Additional account features include: no monthly or debit card fees; no overdraft option for debit card purchases or ATM withdrawals; no minimum balance requirements; free online banking and bill pay; free in-network ATM withdrawals.
Read the press release
Learn more about NYC Direct Deposit 

  DCA Launches Investigation into Debt Settlement Companies for Predatory Practices 
After declaring debt settlement the top consumer fraud of the year, DCA issued subpoenas to 15 debt settlement companies, including five located in the City. Commissioner Mintz warns New Yorkers to beware of fee-based companies that claim to eliminate or lower debt but instead leave consumers in financial ruin. Residents struggling with debt are encouraged to get free help at the City's Financial Empowerment Centers.
Read the press release
Learn your rights about debt settlement in
   English  Español   中文 
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you 

2011 Protect Your Money Campaign Alerts New Yorkers to Predatory Services and Scams and Promotes the City’s Safe, Free Help
On display Citywide in subway cars and newspapers, Protect Your Money ads highlight the successes of real New Yorkers who got help from the City to deal with:
  • a debt settlement scam
  • a home improvement contractor who refused
    to finish the job
  • opening a bank account to avoid check 
    casher fees
  • avoiding foreclosure
Launched in 2010, the Protect Your Money campaign encourages New Yorkers to take advantage of City services to take control of their own financial future.
Read the press release and get consumer protection tips 
Visit the Protect Your Money Web site to view the ads and learn about City services 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioner Mintz, Criminal Justice Coordinator Feinblatt, and Council Member Garodnick Urge New Yorkers to Participate in the City's Free Shred Fest
Shred Fest raises awareness about how New Yorkers can protect themselves against identity theft. At one of 16 Shred Fest locations Citywide you can safely shred documents containing personal information for free using mobile shredding trucks and also get identity theft prevention tips. The first four people to arrive with their papers at each site will receive a free personal shredder, donated by Staples.  
Read the press release 
Find a free Shred Fest location  
Get identity theft prevention tips for consumers and businesses 

 

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Recognize City’s Financial Empowerment Centers and Honor 10,000th Client 
At a ceremony at Gracie Mansion, the City celebrated accomplishments of the Financial Empowerment Centers, including: 18,763 counseling sessions conducted; 10,000 clients served; $4.2 million of debt reduced; $367,000 in savings realized. Free, professional, one-on-one, multilingual financial counseling is available to all New Yorkers at more than 20 Centers Citywide. 
Read the press release
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you
View a list of our generous Financial Empowerment Center supporters 

 

Mayor Bloomberg Kicks off Immigrant Heritage Week with One NYC One Nation
Financial Literacy among goals of Immigrant Civic Engagement Zones
One NYC One Nation is a Citywide civic engagement initiative for immigrant New Yorkers. Led by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and sponsored by grants from One Nation Foundation and The New York Community Trust, boroughwide zones will create activities aimed at increasing immigrant communities’ economic empowerment, access to City government, and civic participation. Among its goals, selected community and immigrant leaders will receive training on how to help their communities learn to navigate the financial system.
Read the press release 

 

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Announce Results of Citywide Crackdown on Tax Preparers
New Yorkers Urged to Avoid High-Interest Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) and Use the City’s Safe, Affordable Tax Filing Options
During its annual sweep to protect filers, DCA conducted more than 1,200 inspections, issuing over 1,600 violations with potential fines totaling nearly $2 million. Illegally advertising RALs as “instant” or “rapid” refunds remained a top violation. The City encourages New Yorkers to take advantage of free or low-cost tax filing options which do not include RALs or other loans.
Read the press release
File your taxes for free or low cost
Tips about Refund Anticipation Loans 

 

City Opens New Financial Empowerment Center Locations in Queens
Commissioner Mintz joined representatives from Citi and nonprofit partners for the formal opening of Queens' newest Financial Empowerment Center at Queens Community House. Two mobile locations will also serve residents in Central and Western Queens. There are now more than 20 Centers Citywide providing free, one-on-one, multilingual professional financial counseling. Since 2008, counselors have helped New Yorkers pay down nearly $4 million in debt and build more than $300,000 in savings.
Read the press release
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you
View a list of our generous Financial Empowerment Center supporters 

 

DCA Alert: Tax Day is April 18. Go Get Your Refund … and Earn up to $500 When You Save!
DCA urges New Yorkers who haven’t filed their taxes already to take advantage of the City’s free or low-cost tax preparation options. At select free tax sites New Yorkers may have the opportunity to open a City-sponsored SaveUSA account and earn a 50% "match"—up to $500—when they save part of their tax refund for a full year. Only a limited number of SaveUSA accounts are left, so interested filers should act fast!
Read the press release
Find out which tax filing option is best for you
Learn about the SaveUSA account
Learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit
Learn about the NYC Child Care Tax Credit 

 

 

DCA Declares Debt Settlement Top Fraud of the Year
DCA Commissioner Mintz warns New Yorkers to beware of fee-based companies that claim to eliminate or lower debt but instead leave consumers in worse financial condition. The Commissioner alerted New Yorkers about new rules regulating companies that sell debt settlement by phone and issued consumer protection tips. Residents struggling with debt are encouraged to get free help at the City's Financial Empowerment Centers. Since Centers opened in June 2008, financial counselors have helped more than 9,300 clients pay down nearly $4 million in debt.
Read the press release
Learn your rights about debt settlement
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you

OFE Releases New Financial Empowerment (FE) Brief
Highlights Findings of Citywide Financial Services Study
Download FE Brief
Download complete New York Financial Environment presentation
Download Banking Profiles for each Community District
Download Credit and Debt Profiles for each Community District
Download detailed methodology 

 

 

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mintz Launch the City's Tax Credit Campaign to Help New Yorkers File Their Taxes for Free or Low Cost, Claim Refundable Tax Credits, and Build Savings
This tax season, the City offers eligible New Yorkers more tax filing options than ever, including free online tax preparation, free tax preparation by a certified volunteer, and only $29 for commercial tax preparation. At select sites New Yorkers may also have the opportunity to open a City-sponsored SaveUSA account and earn a 50% "match"—up to $500—when they save part of their tax refund for a full year. DCA provides information about important refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC).
Read the press release
Find out which tax filing option is best for you
Learn about the SaveUSA account
Learn about the EITC
Learn about the NYC CCTC 

 

NYC Recognized as Leader in Helping Families with Low and Moderate Incomes Achieve Financial Security
Report Praises Work of DCA's Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition
A report released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) highlighted NYC's free Financial Empowerment Centers and $aveNYC Account as innovative strategies to help residents build savings and assets. CFED also credited the CFE Coalition, co-chaired by NYC with San Francisco, with breaking new ground in the field of municipal financial empowerment.
Read the press release
Learn more about OFE Initiatives
Learn more about the CFE Coalition 
 

 

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