Consumer Information Blog

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.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Who’s Calling? Not the Government.

How many of us pick up the phone, expecting to hear, “Hey, you owe me money. Now pay up – or else”? But that’s what’s been happening recently to people in the immigrant community. Those aren’t the exact words, and the caller claims to be from the government – but that’s the message people are getting: Send money. Or else.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Might Your Search Yield a Scam?

Do you ever look for products or information online by typing a word into a search engine? I do too. By now, I bet we both know there’s no guarantee that the first result will be the best one. Anyone can set up shop online with almost any name. You may get links to pages that are out-of-date, off-topic, or stocked with low-quality products. Here are some tips for your next search.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Contacting Families, Friends, and Key Businesses After a Weather Emergency

When disaster strikes, thoughts turn to the welfare of family, friends, and colleagues. Here are several sites to help ease the worry.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Ackk — My Email’s Been Hacked

Friends and family are getting emails or messages you didn’t send. Or your social media accounts have posts you didn’t make. What can you do when it looks like someone’s taken over your account? Here are the steps you can follow if you get hacked.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Can the Spam Texts (And Robocalls)

TXT MSG:
U won a FREE gift card!! Go 2 TXMSGSPAM, enter
code $$$ to claim card within 24 hrs.

RU getting the MSG? Recently, the FTC moved to shut down a network of scammers who sent spam texts that promised  “free” gifts, prizes, electronics, or gift cards. The catch? Clicking on the links in the texts sent recipients on a wild goose chase: a confusing and elaborate process that required them to pay for subscription services, apply for credit, or enter sensitive personal information – including their phone numbers. There were no free gifts or gift cards, but there were plenty of follow-up illegal robocalls. 

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Prefer Products Born in the USA? Be Sure to Check the Label

As Springsteen’s timeless classic reminds us, patriotism never goes out of style. What’s more, many consumers prefer clothing, cars and other products bearing a label proudly claiming to be “Born in the USA.”

Naturally, we expect “Made in the USA” product claims to be as honest as young George Washington when he copped to chopping down his dad’s cherry tree. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. That’s why the FTC wants you to know there are laws and guidelines to help you understand exactly what you’re buying — particularly if you prefer to “buy American:”

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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.

Give It a Rest

A mattress that’s better for you, your baby, or the environment? Sounds great, right? The problem is, it might not be true.

picture of a mattress

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

What’s on a Clothing Care Label?

You know those labels attached to your clothes that tell you how to wash and care for them? By law, those labels have to be there. The FTC’s Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers to attach care instructions to garments.This Rule is up for review, and to discuss proposed changes, the FTC will host a public roundtable in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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