Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Feb 6, 2012

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Recognizing the our nations soldiers and veterans are often targeted by predatory lenders, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), state Attorneys General, and the Department of Defense rallied together last week to create the Repeat Offenders Against Military Database (ROAM). The purpose of ROAM is to have an updated library of companies and individuals who repeatedly target military members with predatory personal loan services.

 

The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs believes that the ROAM program will allow agencies across the country to collaborate and serve one another by jointly contributing to the ROAM’s growing index.

 

The companies that will receive ROAM’s attention are those who take advantage and exploit the financial dilemmas of our nation’s troops. One such company, as discovered by New York’s Attorney General Eric Scheiderman, was selling electronics to soldiers at hugely inflated costs and locking soldiers into high-interest personal loan contracts.

 

This type of company is not exclusive to New York, as the CFPB has reported similar findings in California, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and at military installments overseas.

 

Had ROAM’s database been up-and-running, some soldiers may have been spared from these predatory personal loan practices.

 

Those who will be permitted to add to ROAM’s database include state Attorneys General, United States Attorneys, local officials, and Judge Advocates. The public is invited to send information pertinent to the index to [email protected].

 

Additionally, law enforcement officials can send the CFPB an email requesting access to the database, and the CFPB will provide for them instructions on registration after the database has gone live.

 

In late January, several Attorneys General and members of the CFPB sent a letter to all other Attorneys General across the nation asking them to actively contribute to the ROAM database once it goes live.

 

The database is expected to go live early this month.