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DCA Press Releases



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Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:54:55 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2015 City of New York
 



NYC DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS CREATES NEW CAR LOAN INITIATIVE TO HELP CURB PREDATORY SUBPRIME LOANS AND ABUSIVE DEALER FINANCING PRACTICES FOR USED CAR BUYERS WITH LOW INCOMES

Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:47:00 EDT

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin today announced a new initiative to create a safer loan product for qualified secondhand auto borrowers and to help them avoid financial ruin by predatory loans. Often, borrowers with low credit scores are targeted and sold predatory loans characterized by higher interest rates and less favorable terms. Studies show that these loans, which are similar to those that were blamed for the country’s mortgage crisis, are growing at a staggering rate of more than 130 percent in recent years. In addition, many consumers who obtain these loans believe the dealer has negotiated the best rate for them and are unaware they are actually paying to increase the dealer’s profit margin. Dealer markups provide an incentive to sell consumers unwanted add-ons to increase the amount of financing on a loan and the related mark-up.



CONSUMER AFFAIRS, CITI AND PARSONS LAUNCH INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO FREE TAX PREPARATION SERVICES FOR NEW YORKERS

Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:05:00 EDT

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin, Citi’s Global Director of Community Development Bob Annibale, Parsons The New School for Design DESIS Lab Director Eduardo Staszowski, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Executive Director Darren Bloch today announced the initial findings from Designing for Financial Empowerment, an initiative aimed at developing a new approach to free tax preparation services in New York City. During the first phase of the initiative, researchers uncovered factors that may explain why nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) choose to pay for tax preparation rather than take advantage of the City’s free tax preparation services.



ONE MONTH LEFT UNTIL TAX DAY: DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS REMINDS NEW YORKERS TO FILE TAXES BY APRIL 15 AND TO USE THE CITY’S FREE SERVICES AND CLAIM TAX CREDITS

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:22:00 EDT

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin today reminds New Yorkers that this Sunday marks one month left to file taxes before the April 15 deadline. Commissioner Menin also encourages New Yorkers who made $60,000 or less last year to file for free with the City’s tax preparation services, which include nearly 200 in-person sites, drop-off sites and online preparation at nyc.gov/taxprep, to claim important tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the NYC Child Care Tax Credit, and enroll in the City’s tax-time savings program called SaveUSA.



CONSUMERS BEWARE! DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS WARNS NEW YORKERS ABOUT 10 WORST EVERYDAY SCAMS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:56:00 EST

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Menin today, as part of National Consumer Protection Week, announced 10 scams that New Yorkers should beware of and offered tips to protect themselves and their families. DCA made the announcement at a press conference with the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York, the New York State Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.



DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS FINDS ONE IN FOUR NEW YORK CITY TAX PREPARERS NOT COMPLIANT WITH CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW

Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:28:00 EST

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin today announced the results of a three-week enforcement sweep of income tax preparers throughout the City. Out of the nearly 600 tax preparers inspected, one in four were in violation of the New York City Consumer Protection Law for failing to post qualifications, fees, and disclosures in all languages in which the preparer advertises, for failing to inform consumers that every return filed must be signed, and for not providing consumers with a copy of New York City’s Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers.



DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES ‘SMALL BUSINESS FIRST’ TO REDUCE REGULATORY BURDEN ON CITY'S SMALL BUSINESSES

Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:56:00 EST

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced Small Business First, a comprehensive plan to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses in New York City. Small Business First will simplify the regulatory landscape many small businesses confront in the establishment and ongoing operation of their businesses by improving communication between business owners and City government; streamlining licensing, permitting and tribunal processes; providing support and resources to help businesses understand and comply with City regulations; and ensuring assistance is accessible to all communities across the five boroughs. This is a $27 million dollar investment starting now through Fiscal Year 2019. Ultimately, the reforms outlined in Small Business First will make it easier to achieve compliance with City regulations, saving businesses time and money. The initiative is led by the Mayor’s Office of Operations and the Department of Small Business Services, with more than 15 partnering City agencies.



Food Bank For New York City and Citi Expand Integration of Financial Empowerment Services into School-Based Anti-Hunger Programs

Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:55:00 EST

Food Bank For New York City announced the expansion of an innovative pilot program designed to integrate free financial empowerment services into its signature hunger relief programs, enabling more low-income families across the city to access a suite of holistic financial coaching and food assistance services in a single location. With support from Citi, these free financial empowerment services – which are modeled after the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs’ citywide financial empowerment initiative – are now serving 18 schools in conjunction with its citywide network of food pantries and soup kitchens. Offerings include a range of services, such as debt management and reduction, household and food budgeting, bank accounts, tax preparation, SNAP (formerly food stamps) screenings and more. In addition, Citi announced a continuation of its support of the Financial Empowerment in Schools program with an additional $200,000 in 2015 to deepen the initiative’s work in the 18 operating schools, bringing Citi’s total commitment to the Food Bank on this and other related programs to $700,000.



TIME TO FILE INCOME TAX RETURNS – TENS OF THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS CAN DO IT FOR FREE!

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:37:00 EST

NEW YORK, NY—City, state, and federal consumer advocates, backed by dedicated volunteers, gathered in Brooklyn today to kick off the tax season and spread the word that tens of thousands of taxpayers in the five boroughs can file their income tax returns for free at one of the city’s nearly 200 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. The VITA program, an IRS initiative, provides free tax preparation to individuals and families with an annual income of $53,000 or less (with children) or $18,000 or less (no children).



De Blasio Administration Launches City's Largest Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign, Invests City Money in Tax Prep Centers for First Time Ever

Sat, 31 Jan 2015 09:49:00 EST

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin today announced the largest public education and outreach tax credit campaign in the City’s history. Today is the first-ever Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day of Action, an extensive day of outreach where more than 2,000 volunteers are calling New Yorkers to encourage them to file their taxes for free and claim refund-boosting tax credits. As a service to eligible New Yorkers, the City will contact more than 270,000 New Yorkers through phone calls and automated calls. This year, the City is for the first time, funding the free tax preparation partners, which will allow for an expansion of the City’s network of sites to nearly 200 locations citywide, 60 more than last year, as well as increased staffing at partnering sites. The City has also launched a wide-reaching, targeted advertising and social media and texting campaign to reach eligible New Yorkers, including the estimated one in five households who are eligible for EITC but don’t claim it.



DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS SECURES NEARLY $1 MILLION IN CONSUMER RESTITUTION FROM DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY THAT ILLEGALY COLLECTED ON PAYDAY LOANS

Mon, 05 Jan 2015 12:08:00 EST

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin today announced a record-breaking settlement with National Credit Adjusters (NCA), a debt collection agency formerly licensed by DCA that collected on illegal payday loans from New Yorkers. NCA agreed to pay $962,800 in consumer restitution to at least 4,663 New Yorkers, the highest amount of restitution ever secured by DCA through settlement. NCA must also notify eligible New Yorkers that they are owed money and submit requests to the credit reporting agencies to delete the negative information they provided for those New Yorkers. The agreement requires the company to stop collecting all debts in New York City. NCA is also banned from applying for a debt collection agency license in New York City for at least six years, and is ordered to pay $350,000 in fines.