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Archived Press Releases 2008

Archived Press Releases 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008
Mayor Bloomberg and Clergy Leaders from Across the City Launch New Program to Help City Clergy Provide Financial Education Tools to New Yorkers
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan B. Mintz and clergy leaders from across the City today launched the "Pass It On" campaign, an initiative targeted to help the City's faith leaders provide financial information and guidance to the members of their communities. The Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) initiative will advise faith leaders about the many free and low-cost financial education resources available through the City's Financial Education Network and encourage them to pass the information on to their congregants to help them strengthen their financial well-being during the current economic downturn.

Monday, December 15, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ LAUNCH PUBLIC HELPLINE TO CONNECT NEW YORKERS TO FREE FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES THEY NEED DURING THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan B. Mintz today launched "Your Money Helpline," a weeklong phone-a-thon co-sponsored with the Daily News and the City University of New York (CUNY) to share money management information and refer New Yorkers to free and low-cost financial education services.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ ISSUES DEBT STRESS TIPS TO HELP NEW YORKERS MANAGE THEIR FINANCES
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today issued debt stress tips to City residents to help them take control of their finances.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES 18 INITIATIVES TO HELP NEW YORKERS FACE CURRENT ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced 18 initiatives to help New Yorkers weather the increasing challenges brought on by the economic downturn in the global, national and local economies. The initiatives are designed to create jobs, support the City’s workforce, small businesses and homeowners, and provide targeted relief to the City’s most vulnerable populations. The initiatives are a result of Mayor Bloomberg pressing City agencies to respond to emerging needs primarily with Federal, State and existing City resources. The Mayor was joined at the announcement, which took place in the Blue Room of City Hall, by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky, Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar, Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, and Council Members Gail Brewer, Mathieu Eugene, Lew Fidler, Miguel Martinez, Albert Vann and David Yassky.

Monday, July 28, 2008
Recent Study Explores Financial Choices of New Yorkers
The National League of Cities featured an article about OFE’s Neighborhood Financial Services (NFS) Study in their Nation’s Cities Weekly Newspaper.  The article highlights the gaps found between the supply and demand of financial products and services for New Yorkers with low incomes.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG OPENS FIRST FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT CENTER IN THE BRONX
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Veronica White today announced the City's first Financial Empowerment Center, which will offer free, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching to low-income Bronx residents, as well as an online searchable database that for the first time brings together all of the financial services available to New Yorkers. The Mayor also released the findings of the City's Neighborhood Financial Services Study, which found that the lack of financial services and products that meet the needs of low income New Yorkers, rather than the proximity of a financial institution, leads to greater reliance on non-traditional financial services, such as check-cashing stores.
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Friday, April 18, 2008
The Office of Financial Empowerment
Marketplace Money from American Public Media
Radio interview
TESS VIGELAND: Last month, the Left Coast and Right Coast decided it was time to work together. New York and San Francisco announced a new coalition that they titled "Cities of Financial Empowerment." Miami, San Antonio, Savannah and Seattle are also part of the effort.

Thursday, March 6, 2008
Department of Consumer Affairs Names 29 to Newly Created Advisory Council for Its Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE)
The Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) named 29 outstanding national and New York leaders to its newly created OFE Advisory Council. DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz created the Advisory Council to help shape OFE's agenda as it continues its work to increase financial literacy and asset building opportunities for New Yorkers with low incomes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Department of Consumer Affairs Secures More than $5 Million in Restitution – a 47 Percent Increase – for Individual New Yorkers with Complaints in 2007
The Department of Consumer Affairs today announced the agency has secured a total of $5.3 million in restitution for New Yorkers who filed valid consumer complaints. The record amount of restitution, which increased 47 percent over the past year, was secured through DCA's mediation and enforcement efforts. The Department received and investigated more than 6,000 consumer complaints in Fiscal Year 2007 – an increase of more than 40 percent from 2004. 

Monday, February 25, 2008
Aspen Institute, City Agencies and Local Credit Union to Highlight Savings Initiatives and Assistance Available to New Yorkers
The Commissioners of two New York City agencies and the leaders of an Upper Manhattan credit union and national think tank today highlighted savings initiatives and assistance available to New Yorkers in an effort to help increase the savings rate.


Thursday, February 21, 2008
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Announces Citywide Enforcement Sweep of Income Tax Preparers
Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today announced the results of the Department's comprehensive investigation into predatory and illegal practices by the income tax preparation industry. During the first six weeks of the sweep, the Department inspected more than 300 businesses, issuing more than 500 violations to preparers that placed misleading or illegal advertisements in newspapers, misrepresented Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) to their clients, as well as other violations.

Thursday, February 7, 2008
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Holds Public Hearing to Investigate Secondhand Auto Dealer Practices in New York City
The Department of Consumer Affairs held an exploratory public hearing today, gathering crucial testimony from consumers, industry leaders and financial experts, as part of its ongoing investigation into deceptive and predatory tactics within the secondhand auto dealer industry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
New York City Kicks off Tax Season with the 6th Annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Campaign
Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Paul Cosgrave and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Dr. Guillermo Linares today kicked off the 6th Annual New York City Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition Campaign to help working families and individuals with low incomes claim up to $6,000 when filing their taxes. Representatives from the New York City EITC Coalition - the most comprehensive effort in the nation including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), leading nonprofit organizations and private partners - were all on hand for the announcement at the 311 Customer Service Center in Lower Manhattan.