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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance

Commissioner Ken Kobylowski

For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2014

For Further Information:
Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064

Christie Administration Emphasizes the Importance of Financial Literacy to New Jersey at Middlesex County Financial Literacy Fair

PISCATAWAY – A month-long series of activities marking National Financial Literacy Month continued on Tuesday with New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Banking Division Director Patrick Mullen speaking at a Financial Literacy Fair held by the John F. Kennedy Library in Piscataway. State, Federal and local government agencies as well as non-profits dedicated to promoting financial literacy among adults and senior citizens set up exhibits at the event.

“New Jersey is second to none in financial literacy,” said Banking Division Director Mullen. “From grade school to retirement, our consumers are learning the importance of saving, budget setting and shopping for quality financial services and products. In nationwide financial literacy surveys, New Jerseyans do very well. That translates to a strong, robust economy.”

April is National Financial Literacy Month, a national public awareness effort to help consumers establish and maintain healthy financial habits, take charge of their personal financial well-being and make smart financial decisions.

DOBI Financial Literacy Program in Piscataway
Banking Director Patrick Mullen encourages Piscataway and Middlesex County area adults and senior citizens to learn all they can about financial products and services before making key financial decisions.

Tuesday’s presentation was part of the Department’s ongoing financial literacy program, which was launched in 2006 with programs for high school students and expanded in 2012 to include programs for college students and senior citizens.

The Department’s Senior Financial Literacy Program covers products that are aimed specifically at senior citizens, such as reverse mortgages and long term care insurance. By bringing information directly to consumers, the Department fulfills part of its mission which includes educating and protecting consumers.

“An educated consumer is our first line of defense in consumer protection,” said Mullen. “Having a solid financial services knowledge base helps seniors avoid fraud. That plays a direct role in improving our State’s economy. That’s why we will continue to visit worthwhile events like this all across New Jersey.”

Mullen provided tips on financial products and avoiding fraud including:

Reverse mortgages: Watch out for hidden fees and costs. Understand the contract before signing it.

Avoiding Fraud: If it sounds too good to be true, most likely it is.

“Do not stop asking questions until they have all been answered. Do not give in to pressure tactics. Always make sure every single one of your questions is answered completely,” said Mullen. “If you do not understand everything, do not sign anything.”

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