The year 2008 has started quite ominously for some—there have been threats of recession, the fluctuation of the Dow Jones and NASDAQ, an escalating consumer credit crunch, higher cost of living, falling housing prices that reduce the value of the largest asset for most families, and more people facing foreclosures nationwide. Couple this with an up tick in financial scams and fraud, and it is enough for any hardworking District resident to concede financial defeat.
However, we look forward to some relief as the federal government works on various economic packages to help consumers through these hard times. At the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), we also see these challenging times as an opportunity for you to examine your broader financial picture. It may be time for you to look at the consumer protection measures you have in place to prevent fraud against you or your family; as well as to ensure you have an emergency reserve during unforeseen events.
To help you focus on your broader financial picture, DISB has joined other federal, state and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations in launching the 10th annual National Consumer Protection Week, slated for March 2 to 8, which will highlight our consumer protection and education efforts. The theme for this year is Financial Literacy—A Sound Investment. During the week, DISB will release information to prevent some of the financial pitfalls that victimize consumers. By providing a wide range of consumer-education information, DISB is giving you a line of defense to protect yourself and your family.
In this issue of DISPATCH, read about DISB’s National Consumer Protection Week activities, performing a preventative health insurance check-up, a poll on why consumers cannot save, consumer protection for car buyers, our upcoming events and a whole lot more. As usual, we hope our content will keep you coming back.
Office of Communication and Public Affairs