Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order to protect consumers by creating the Consumer Financial Protection Task Force.
The executive order, effective immediately, will protect consumers from unfair, discriminatory and predatory products.
The order states that predatory and unfair financial tactics have increased since the threat of COVID-19 and the post-pandemic response and recovery.
“We’ve worked hard to build an inclusive economy that works for all Philadelphians, but those efforts are undermined as long as fraudulent and predatory actors are able to steal residents’ wealth as quickly as they realize it,” he said. said Kenney.
The task force will identify the most significant threats to consumers and propose enforcement actions to end the harm caused by unfair commercial practices.
Mayor Kenney will appoint 10 people to the 13-member task force, made up of people with experience working in financial protection. Co-chairs of the task force will be appointed by the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), the city treasurer and the city attorney.
“Predatory practices can take many forms,” said Mitchell Little, executive director of the CEO. “But they’re most often designed to transfer wealth from low-income people, especially our black and brown communities, to wealthier people.”
For three years, the task force will develop annual reports that will monitor the progression of predatory practices and dangers in Philadelphia. The reports will also provide recommendations for further progress or for modifications.
The task force will also monitor threats that disproportionately affect minority races, gender, sexual orientation, religion and education level.
“Consumer protection ensures that predatory practices don’t trap people who are struggling to get by in a life of poverty,” said Kerry Smith, a lawyer with the Homeownership and Rights Unit. consumers of community legal services. “The task force will be an important new tool for working together to fight fraud, keep Philadelphians home, and protect the money individuals need to support their families. We are honored to join this important work.”
Kenney’s nominees will be named in the coming weeks and a website will be launched.
“The task force will provide a mechanism to quickly identify threats to consumers, mobilize responses to prevent harm, and coordinate these efforts across agencies,” Kenney said.