Following Swisspinoy’s inspiration from his letter writing to HUD and VA on inability to get a mortgage, I also looked at a number of ways to creatively complain, get the message across, or otherwise be a pain in the neck to those powers that be in Washington. I too face the dreaded mortgage and banking issues in Switzerland. Thus I would like to share the following, with the hope that as many Brockers as possible also find them useful and start flooding their inboxes and filling out complaint forms.
In addition to the HUD antidiscrimination statutes on mortgage lending per Swisspinoy, there is indeed a number of other Washington agencies concerned with discrimination and fair treatment, etc..
- The Consumer Product Protection Bureau, http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/, allows you to file a complaint on numerous banking topics, ie. Credit cards, mortgages, bank account, etc.. I would say it is fair game to use this interface to complain about our issues even though it is cleary geared toward the 50 states (no surprise there). Even if everyone just generically complains about the exterritorial reach of FATCA, someone will start to get the message.
- Here is a page on the “Equal Credit Opportunity”(ECOA) under the law from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre15.shtm As shown, there are certain rights concerning non-discrimination and the like. There is indeed a whole page dedicated to enforcement of the ECOA by various federal agencies. I’ve chose to focus on two in particular:
- The Federal Trade Commission concerns itself with mortgage and consumer finance companies. They even have a detailed form to file complaints, and have allow for foreign addresses (WOW). There are quite a few steps to go through on the form, but I think it is well worth it. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en#last
- The Department of Justice is also a heavyweight on some of these issues so I’ve chosen also to focus on them, for discrimination from creditors in particular. There is a particular complaint page specific to housing and civil enforcement. On this page, http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/#six near the bottom, there is a section on “Special Litigation” which gives and address and phone number. In the absence of any more specific category, this one would seem appropriate. Finally, at the bottom of the same page, there is a section on “Voting”. I am sure there is enough issues on this subject by Brockers to fill their inbox, from lack of Census counting in the districting issue, to no rights at all the vote for many overseas americans who never lived in the US. They give this email address to complain: Voting.Section@usdoj.gov
So I encourage everyone out there with specific issues to avail themselves of making their problem known, and to anyone who just wants to get the point across in general.