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SMF Engages with CFPB on Issues Impacting Elder Muslim Americans

(Washington, DC – June 14, 2024) – The Shia Muslim Foundation recently attended a pivotal meeting with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today, to address critical issues impacting elder Muslim Americans. The meeting, part of the CFPB's faith-based initiative, focused on protecting older adults from financial fraud and exploitation.

Meeting Highlights

The Office for Older Americans, a division within the CFPB, spearheads efforts to safeguard older adults from financial harm. Recognizing that faith leaders are trusted figures within their communities, the Office seeks to collaborate with faith-based organizations to effectively reach and protect vulnerable populations.

Coalition Efforts

The Office for Older Americans has established a "networks initiative," bringing together various stakeholders, including non-profits, attorneys, prosecutors, and law enforcement, to combat elder financial exploitation. The CFPB is now inviting faith leaders to join this coalition, acknowledging their crucial role in supporting older adults.

Resource Availability

During the meeting, the CFPB highlighted the availability of numerous free materials and resources, including webinars and publications tailored to community needs. The Shia Muslim Foundation shared insights on the specific financial challenges faced by older adults in the Muslim community, including issues related to financial caregiving, fraud, scams, and housing.

Guides and Resources

The CFPB presented several valuable guides, such as the housing guides that offer comprehensive information for older adults aging in their homes and the "Managing Someone Else's Money" guides, which cover various financial management options. These resources are especially relevant for the Muslim community, addressing concerns about wills and estate planning compliant with both US and Islamic laws.

Upcoming Initiatives

The CFPB announced plans for a faith-based roundtable discussion in July to address major issues affecting older adults in different faith communities. This event will provide an overview of CFPB resources and explore the best ways to reach and support these communities, considering cultural sensitivities.

Feedback and Collaboration

The CFPB is open to feedback and suggestions from the Muslim community on tailoring resources to their specific needs. They have collaborated with the Library of Congress to translate some materials and are willing to explore further translations into languages such as Urdu if needed.

Consumer Alerts and Education

The CFPB recommends that the Muslim community sign up for the Federal Trade Commission's consumer alerts to stay informed about the latest scams targeting older adults. Additionally, the CFPB's "Money Smart for Older Adults" materials can be valuable for financial education within the community.

Inclusive Engagement

The meeting underscored the importance of inclusivity and direct engagement with the Muslim community. The CFPB is committed to reaching out to larger Muslim communities in areas such as Dearborn, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, ensuring that resources and opportunities are accessible to all.

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About Shia Muslim Foundation

The Shia Muslim Foundation, founded in 2020, is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the civic rights of American Shia Muslims and advocating on social and political issues. The foundation promotes the rights and welfare of Shia Muslims globally, addressing challenges faced by the community and fostering understanding between Shia and Sunni Muslims.


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