To commemorate the Federal Trade Commission’s annual National Consumer Protection Week (March 6 – 12, 2011), the FTC is providing a budget-load of handy-dandy information designed to protect your money, your credit, and your overall post-recessionary financial future. So whether you’re rebuilding your economic life post-bankruptcy, or simply trying to speed up your savings, the NCPW blog can yield a wealth of resources exactly at a time when average Americans need a financial infusion, including information about:
- Avoiding foreclosure rescue and other mortgage-related scams;
- Knowing how to spot employment opportunity scams;
- Making the most of your money in the early stages of your career;
- Building and maintaining a budget to improve financial stability;
- Avoiding time-share and credit-card scams offered via text messages; and
- Learning what steps to take to save your home from foreclosure.
In this series The Best of National Consumer Protection Week (March 6 – 12, 2011), we’ll cover the educational (and sometimes entertaining) highlights from National Consumer Protection Week, including a Part One look at avoiding a multitude of real estate scammers. Lessons available for learning (the easy, as opposed to hard, way) are:
Avoid ‘Friendly” Recommendations
Are you in the market for a mortgage loan modification? Instead of seeking free mortgage help from your own mortgage lender or a HUD-approved counseling agency who deals with folks in all income ranges, you might be tempted to take word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. In one word: don’t. In some cases, these very services can lead unsuspecting homeowners down a less than rosy path. A few signs that a friendly recommendation is actually an unseemly scammer, include: an individual asks “for a fee” in advance to work with your mortgage lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage; you receive a “guarantee” that a person or company can stop a foreclosure on your home or facilitate a loan modification; you’re encouraged by a company or individual to “stop paying your mortgage company” and pay them instead; and/or someone you don’t know asks for your “personal financial information” online or over the phone.
Be Wary of Someone Offering to Resell Your Timeshare
If you’re like many in these tough economic times, you’re looking for ways to save (or make) cash. As such, you may be considering the sale of your precious timeshare. If so, the FTC offers a good rule of thumb: “If a company offers to resell your timeshare, go into skeptic mode. The number of complaints related to fraudulent timeshare resales has more than tripled over the past three years.” As in the case of mortgage modifications, it’s best just to avoid those requesting upfront fees for this type of resell service.
If You’re Struggling to Pay Your Mortgage, Understand that Help is Available.
You can join the millions of American homeowners who have found immediate help to keep (or flee) their hard-hit homes. If you have personally felt the real estate reckoning, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond basic consumer protections. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.