New York State Department of Financial Services ("NYDFS") Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell appointed several members to the newly established Consumer Protection Task Force. The members will serve three-year terms.

The members are as follows:

  • Chuck Bell, Consumer Reports;
  • Elisabeth Benjamin, Community Service Society;
  • Carolyn Coffey, Mobilization for Justice;
  • Beth Finkel, New York State Office, AARP;
  • Jacob ("Jay") Inwald, Legal Services NYC;
  • Paul Kantwill, Loyola University Chicago School of Law;
  • Neha M. Karambelkar, Staff Attorney, Western New York Law Center;
  • Kirsten E. Keefe, Empire Justice Center;
  • Peter Kochenburger, University of Connecticut Law School;
  • Sarah Ludwig, New Economy Project;
  • Frankie Miranda, Hispanic Federation; and
  • Cy Richardson, National Urban League.

According to a press release, the task force is aimed at implementing consumer protection proposals highlighted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Specifically, the task force will work to enhance (i) regulatory oversight of debt collectors, (ii) protection against elder abuse, (iii) affordable banking services and (iv) consumer protection laws to defend against unfair, deceptive and abusive practices.


Steven Lofchie

As NYDFS launches this new initiative to protect consumers, New York officials might want to consider additional ways to improve the business climate in the state. A quick web search turns up (i) a site that ranks New York as 47th out of 50 in terms of its policy environment for small businesses. Another site which ranks New York much higher (28th) for business overall only ranks it 37th for regulatory environment. While New York has numerous historical advantages in maintaining its standing as a desirable place to live, the world changes: Barneys New York has filed for Chapter 11 and the financial industry is moving personnel out of New York City.

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