Consumer Advocates Identify Top Debt Issues in PA

March 9, 2017

Pennsylvania Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann today met with consumer advocates to identify top consumer debt issues and discuss how public-private collaboration can help consumers avoid debt traps and address long-term personal financial issues.

During the meeting Patty Hasson, president of Clarifi, Bob Thomas, president of Tabor Community Services, Mary Loftus, vice president of agency services and education for Advantage Credit Counseling Service, and Joan Reading, president of Credit Counseling Center, shared with the department the top consumer debt issues their organizations are addressing.

The group identified the top five barriers to Pennsylvania consumers achieving financial independence:

  • Long-term credit card and auto loan debt;
  • Credit repair scams;
  • Student loan debt;
  • Unlicensed lending triggered by life events such as divorce, death, or illness; and
  • Lack of financial preparation for retirement.

“Empowering consumers with knowledge is one of the best ways we can help Pennsylvanians both make educated decisions about their finances and build stronger futures for themselves and their families,” Wiessmann said. “I look forward to continuing to work with advocates in Pennsylvania communities to provide consumers with useful tools to achieve their financial goals.”

The department hosts a library of consumer financial education on its website. The department also conducts a variety of programs in communities. To learn more about programs or to request a program for your community or group, email

Anyone can contact the Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS. Members of the public are also invited to connect to the department through Facebook and Twitter, or subscribing to the department’s newsletter.