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Eanes-Pittman Public Safety Training Center, 6610 Public Safety Way, Chesterfield, VA 23832

Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General invite you to attend a Common Ground Conference in greater Richmond, Virginia. The goal is to find ways to work together to protect consumers in Virginia by collaborating and sharing information and resources.

We will discuss emerging consumer trends and how we can build partnerships to meet new and existing challenges in consumer protection. Moderated panels will focus on credit and debt issues affecting service members and their families, scams affecting older Americans and resources and tips to avoid them, and student loan debt. Speakers will include representatives from AARP and the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Virginia’s newly appointed Student Loan Advocate, and attorneys and advocates from the Office of the Virginia Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. A full agenda will be posted soon.

Free parking is available at the venue. If you wish to attend, please RSVP at

  • 12:30 – 1:00 p.m.


    1:00 – 1:30 p.m.


    Richard S. Schweiker, Jr.
    Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief
    Virginia Office of the Attorney General

    Opening Remarks

    Joseph J. Simons
    Federal Trade Commission

    Mark R. Herring
    Attorney General of Virginia

    1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

    Credit and Debt Issues Affecting Service Members and their Families

    Discussion of the pitfalls of lending activity, financial literacy education for young military personnel, the Military Lending Act, and case examples

    David B. Irvin
    Senior Assistant Attorney General/Unit Manager
    Virginia Office of the Attorney General

    James W. (Jay) Speer
    Executive Director
    Virginia Poverty Law Center

    Rosario Mendez
    Division of Consumer and Business Education
    Federal Trade Commission

    2:15 – 3:00 p.m.

    Scams Affecting Older Americans and Resources and Tips to Avoid Them

    Data-driven discussion of the latest scams and how they affect older Americans, how consumers can avoid becoming victims, and case examples

    Maria Del Monaco
    East Central Region
    Federal Trade Commission

    Richard S. Schweiker, Jr.
    Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief
    Virginia Office of the Attorney General

    Natalie Snider
    Associate State Director – Advocacy
    AARP Virginia

    3:00 – 3:15 p.m.


    3:15 – 4:00 p.m.

    Educated but Underwater: Student Loan Debt

    Discussion of the pitfalls of student loans, collections and discharges of student loans, student loan debt relief scams, and resources for consumers

    Scott W. Kemp
    Student Loan Advocate
    Virginia Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman

    James E. Scott
    Assistant Attorney General
    Virginia Office of the Attorney General

    Adrienne M. Jenkins
    East Central Region
    Federal Trade Commission

    4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

    Roundtable Discussion

    Jon Miller Steiger

    Regional Director
    East Central Region
    Federal Trade Commission

    Conference attendees will form small discussion groups to examine consumer protection issues affecting Virginia consumers. The discussion groups will focus on consumer issues such as:

    • The latest telephone, Internet and imposter scams, including those involving robocalls and payments by gift card or other problematic payment methods
    • The latest debt-related issues affecting cash-strapped consumers, such as foreclosure rescue scams, payday and auto title loans, open-end credit, and Internet loans
    • Employment and education-related scams, including business opportunity and work-at-home scams and for-profit schools
    • How we can share information and resources to accomplish our goals and provide timely information to hard-to-reach consumers

    5:00 – 5:15 p.m.

    Closing Remarks

    Jon Miller Steiger
    Regional Director
    East Central Region
    Federal Trade Commission

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register for events that require registration. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s Privacy Act system for public records and comprehensive privacy policy.

This event will be open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded.  By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.