Free publication reflects consumers’ new rights, options for sending money abroad

Understand how recent changes in remittance rules and services can protect you and save you money

Contact: Linda Sherry, 202-544-3088 or Ruth Susswein, 301-718-2511

In response to recent changes to federal remittance rules, Consumer Action has updated and expanded its consumer information sheet How to send money home: Tips for transferring money abroad.

According to World Bank statistics, U.S. residents sent more than $50 billion to recipients in other countries in 2012. They also spent millions of dollars in fees to get the money to its destination.

“Hard-working consumers living in the U.S. deserve transparency and essential consumer protections when sending money home,” said Ruth Susswein, Consumer Action’s deputy director of national priorities. “We’re pleased to be able to update one of our most popular resources with new rules, tools and options that will help consumers who transfer funds internationally understand their rights and save money.”

The new rules, issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and outlined in Consumer Action’s publication, direct how remittance services should treat consumers, including:

  • Providing upfront disclosures about fees, the exchange rate and the amount to be received by the recipient;
  • Following prescribed error resolution procedures; and
  • Offering consumers certain refund and cancellation rights.

The updated “How to send money home,” available in print (English only), online and as a free download, also reflects changes in remittance methods—the greater availability of Internet-based transfer services, for example—and provides links to two tools that enable consumers to compare remittance costs among service providers.

The information sheet will be available online in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean by Feb. 1.

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Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.

By providing consumer education materials in multiple languages, a free national hotline, a comprehensive website (www.consumer-action.org) and annual surveys of financial and consumer services, Consumer Action helps consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and make financially savvy choices. Nearly 7,500 community and grassroots organizations benefit annually from its extensive outreach programs, training materials and support.

 
 

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