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Mayor Hancock, Partners to Launch New Denver Consumer Financial Protection Initiative

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and partner organizations today will launch a new Consumer Financial Protection Initiative to strengthen consumer rights and protect residents from predatory financial practices. The new initiative will focus on ways the city can combat elder financial abuse, notario fraud, wage theft, predatory lending and predatory housing practices.

“Through this new Initiative, we are ramping up our efforts to help Denver residents know their rights, understand their choices as consumers and achieve greater economic mobility for themselves and their families,” Mayor Hancock said. “This new initiative is a big step toward the comprehensive system we need to provide financial relief for our residents, and we’re grateful to all the partners who are helping to make it happen.”

While recent federal actions have threatened to weaken important consumer protections, Denver will explore local actions that the city and partners can take to protect residents from predatory practices that hurt our families.

Denver is among four cities planning a consumer financial protection entity in partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The CFE Fund provided $125,000 to fund the city’s development of a design and implementation plan that began in late 2017 and will continue through 2018. The city also received a $10,000 investment in this effort from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

To launch this Initiative, Denver has thus far completed a preliminary needs and resource assessment, as well as identified major stakeholder groups in nonprofit and government entities. In 2018, this new initiative will focus on the implementation of a central hub for consumer financial complaints that will connect consumers to the various agencies that can resolve complaints or provide consumers with other resources as well as collect data to inform efforts moving forward around:

  • Prevention, education and outreach;
  • Policy review and development;
  • Complaint resolution;
  • Monitoring;
  • Enforcement; and
  • Supportive services.

The city wishes to express its gratitude to the partners below who informed the 2017 needs assessment and design work and have been invited to advise the city in the 2018 implementation planning work:

  • Government: City and County of Denver, Denver District Attorney, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Colorado Attorney General, Denver Auditor.
  • Nonprofits: mpowered, Denver Metro Fair Housing, Brothers Redevelopment, NEWSED, Servicios de La Raza, Towards Justice, Bell Policy Center, AARP, DRCOG, Operation Hope, Centro Humanitario, ACLU, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Northeast Denver Housing Center, Legal Wellness, Colorado Legal Services, University of Denver, Centro San Juan Diego, Catholic Charities, Center for Responsible Lending, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Businesses: Better Business Bureau
  • Funders: CFE Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CO Bank and Gary Community Investments