Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week 2017! March signals the start of Spring – a time of reassessment, growth and renewal that brings positive change. It’s also a good time to renew our commitment to helping people in our communities be savvy consumers.
National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is around the corner! The annual event – March 5-11, 2017 – is a time to help people understand their consumer rights, make well-informed decisions about money, and spot scams.
If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. They may claim that the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests. Some may even say that they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time. All they need is an upfront fee to get the ball rolling. Well, hold onto your money and read on.
If you’re behind on your mortgage payments or worried about how you’ll make the next one, help may be available. But you have to act fast. December 30, 2016 is the last day to apply for assistance under many federal Making Home Affordable programs, which were created to help homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments.
Whether you live in Bangor, Maine, or Bakersfield, California, your home will be more comfortable and energy efficient with the right insulation. Insulation helps lower the cost of heating and cooling your home.
You dream about buying a house, but you can’t — at least not yet. Maybe you don’t have the money for a down payment, or you’ve had problems with your credit. But what if someone offered you a chance to eventually own the house you’re renting?
You might be told it’s a chance to “stop throwing money away on rent.” But we’ve heard that many people who thought these deals were a path to owning a home watched their dreams disappear instead.
If you’re in the military, your financial decisions can have long-term effects on your family life, security clearance, and mission readiness. In fact, the Department of Defense (DoD) has said that financial readiness is a critical part of the force’s mission readiness. It makes sense: when you know how to manage your money – and how to spot a rip-off – you’re more financially solid. And that helps keep you mission-ready.
Over the summer, we told you about a mortgage relief scam that defrauded homeowners in financial distress. The case especially affected Spanish-speaking homeowners in Southern California. According to the FTC, Brookstone Law and Advantis Law firms convinced homeowners to make an upfront payment to join a mortgage lawsuit against banks and lenders, supposedly to help them avoid foreclosure, get rid of their mortgages, or get money from their lenders.