Homes & Mortgages

Coping with Flooding

After a flood, your home and its contents may look beyond hope, but many of your belongings can be restored. If you do things right, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied.

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Homes & Mortgages

Coping with a Weather Emergency: Paying Your Mortgage

Even if your home is uninhabitable after an extreme weather event, you still have a mortgage. Contact your lender immediately to discuss your options.

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Homes & Mortgages

Don’t Let a Short Sale Keep You From a New Mortgage

If you negotiated a short sale of your home, you may be surprised to learn that some mortgage loan underwriting systems can’t distinguish short sales from foreclosures on consumer reports. And that may keep or delay you from getting a new mortgage.

You see, borrowers who go through a foreclosure typically have to wait seven years before they’re eligible for a new mortgage.  But short sellers may qualify in as little as two years. When you’re trying to buy a new home, an additional five years can seem like a lifetime. So is there anything you can do to improve your financial footing? You bet there is.

Your First Line of Defense

We’re all consumers and information is the first line of defense in the marketplace. Everyone can benefit from amping up their consumer know-how and getting the inside skinny on avoiding scams. That’s true for servicemembers, veterans, and their families, too. And that’s the spirit behind Military Consumer Protection Day, July 17. The FTC, the Department of Defense, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Military Saves have teamed up for this first ever MCPD to kick off a year-round campaign to empower the military and veteran communities.

MCPD

Pest Control

We’re no fans of creepy little blood-suckers like bed bugs and head lice. We’re also not keen on pest control marketers who say their products prevent or treat these infestations, but can’t back up their claims.

A-partment Hunting We Will Go

Apartment hunting for the perfect place to live? As you scan rental ads in newspapers, or on websites or listservs, remember that some ads may not be legit.

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Homes & Mortgages

A DNC Birthday Suit

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the National Do Not Call Registry. What a fitting day for the FTC’s announcement of the biggest civil penalty ever collected in a Do Not Call case.

A Strange Affinity

Do you trust people more if they’re like you, or a part of your community? Scammers bet that you do. Every day, they take advantage of that unconscious trust.

It’s called “affinity fraud” — when someone in a group uses their membership in that group to scam another member. Think religious, ethnic, or professional groups. Might you be willing to hear more about a deal if a member of your church asks you to? Or take advice from someone who speaks your same language? Through the FTC’s Legal Services Collaboration, we’ve heard of cases just like that.

Five Steps to a Great Mortgage Deal

Shopping around for a home loan will help you get the best financing deal. A mortgage is a product, so why not apply the same tactics you use before you make any other major purchase? The cost of a mortgage depends on your credit history, and involves rates, points, fees, private mortgage insurance, and other factors, so it’s best to compare, compare, compare.

Military Consumer Protection Day 2013

Calling all military families and veterans! Are you looking to protect yourself or your family from fraud, identity theft, and scams? Maybe you’re curious about the best way to use credit, shop for a used car, or maximize your security online. 

Military folks are consumers, too – and critical to the economy. Just ask the 1.4 million men and women on active duty or the 1.1 million in the National Guard and Reserve forces. But the unique challenges of military life – frequent relocation, separation from family and friends, and the stresses of deployment – can make military households an attractive target for scam artists. In fact, during 2012 the Federal Trade Commission logged more than 62,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and spouses about their experiences in the marketplace.

That led the FTC and its partners to sponsor Military Consumer Protection Day on July 17, 2013. It’s a great day to empower military and veteran communities with information as the first line of defense against consumer fraud.

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