The wife of former General David Petraeus was in Nashville Friday.
Holly Petraeus is the Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal watchdog group for consumers.
Petraeus heads the Office of Servicemember Affairs.
Her visit was tied to a panel discussion at the southern region meeting of the National Association for Attorneys General (NAAG) held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Nashville.
She and other military experts talked about predatory lending and questionable business practices aimed at service members.
“They get a guaranteed paycheck,” Petraeus said. “It comes in twice a month. [It's] absolutely guaranteed they're not going to quit or get laid off. And they're, by in large, a young population, you know, age 25 on average or younger. And so [they] don't have the experience sometimes to recognize a bad deal.”
Petraeus' CFPB office partners with the Pentagon to provide financial education, to monitor complaints, and to coordinate consumer protection measures for soldiers and their families.
State Attorneys General are often the first to receive servicemember complaints about goods or services.
“The south, of course, has the largest concentration of military bases of any region, so that's a natural issue for the state AGs in this area to take on,” said Robert Cooper, Attorney General for the state of Tennessee.
During Friday's discussion, Petraeus voiced concern regarding the impact of the government sequester on soldiers' personal finances.
“I think a lot of folks have concerns that if the sequester hits hard, they may go and seek loans and seek them in places where they're going to get really bad rates,” she said. “So that's something we hope to educate about.”
Petraeus went on to say that the Pentagon is still deciding how to address the loss in funding, including cuts to tuition assistance programs.
“It's going to be up to the individual branches of the service to decide what they do about it, and the individual commanders as well,” she said.
On the day prior to Petraeus visit, the NAAG conference focused on healthcare fraud.
The conference ended Friday.