(WASHINGTON) — With less than two weeks left until Election Day, the economy is what weighs heavily on the minds of many voters. President Obama uses his address this week to highlight the passage of Wall Street reforms and the work of a new independent consumer watchdog “whose sole job,” he says, “is to look out for you.”
Noting the country’s recovery from a financial crisis that cost the economy 9 million jobs, President Obama says businesses have since added 5 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate “has fallen to the lowest level since I took office.” But the president adds that the passage of new the Wall Street reforms will prevent Americans from going through another tough crisis again and “end taxpayer-funded bailouts for good.”
The reforms, he says, allowed for the creation of the first-ever independent consumer watchdog that he says will protect Americans from the mistakes made by the companies who determine credit scores and provide consumers with all the information needed to make important financial decisions like purchasing a home or paying for college.
“And that means going after anyone who tries to take advantage of you, or rip you off,” he says.
“Until this week, if you had a complaint, you took it to the company. Sometimes they listened. Sometimes they didn’t. But that was pretty much it. They were your only real hope,” the president says.
But, he adds,”Not anymore. If you have a complaint about your credit score that hasn’t been properly addressed, you can go to consumerfinance.gov/complaint and let the consumer watchdog know. Not only will they bring your complaint directly to the company in question, they’ll give you a tracking number, so you can check back and see exactly what’s being done on your behalf.”
The president adds that fixing your credit score isn’t the only thing the consumer protection group can help with. They can help with opening bank accounts, applying for student loans or credit cards, and even tell you if you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage.
“Their only mission is to fight for you. And when needed, they’ll take action,” he says.
Stating his belief in the free market and the private sector as the “true engine of job creation” and not government, President Obama compounds that idea with another that says “America only prospers when we meet certain obligations to one another, and when we all play by the same set of rules.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackson Adams, Teton Valley News
Kevin Conlon, Euan McKirdy and Johanzynn Gatewood, CNN
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Robert Boyd, KSTU