Homes & Mortgages

The 411 on fraud in the 404

When is it uplifting to talk about obstacles to economic opportunities? When a room full of people at a joint conference of the NAACP and the FTC spend a day making the connections we all need to help overcome scams and exactly those obstacles in our communities.

Bogus foreclosure rescue relief offers false HOPE

What happens when you pay someone who says they’re going to help you, and they don’t? Well, in the case of HOPE Services, the FTC came calling.

Here’s the story: According to the FTC, a group of companies and individuals doing business as HOPE Services told consumers facing foreclosure they could get help from legitimate, government-backed programs, like Making Home Affordable —  but only after they made three monthly trial payments into a so-called mortgage lender’s trust account.

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Homes & Mortgages

Feds call out national mortgage servicer

The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau don’t play games when it comes to making loan servicers pay for illegal and unscrupulous behavior. Case in point: Green Tree Servicing LLC.

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Homes & Mortgages

The Highlights of the Highlights

Every spring, the FTC issues its Annual Highlights for the previous year. It’s like a corporate annual report, summarizing what we did and how we did it. Interested in our mission to protect consumers? Here are some of 2014’s highlights.

Annual Highlights Image

A scammer by any other name is still a scammer

When struggling homeowners paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees to Wealth Educators, Inc., they expected help avoiding foreclosure. Although the “law firm” was quick to take their money, it did little or nothing to help save their homes, according to the FTC. And the “law firm” bit was all an act.

Avoid Foreclosure Scam video

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Homes & Mortgages

Can imported laminate wood floors make you sick?

The warm luster of laminate wood flooring can give your home or office an inviting and natural look. But, according to recent press reports, some laminates imported from China produce potentially hazardous emissions of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

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Homes & Mortgages

Cleaning up without getting cleaned out

I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to say “uncle” to Old Man Winter. This year’s record-breaking snowfalls, downed trees, roof collapses, mudslides, flooding and frozen pipes are leaving overwhelming clean-up and recovery in their wake. If you’re thinking about hiring someone to help you dig out, keep these tips in mind.

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Homes & Mortgages

Looking for a place to rent?

How many hours have you spent looking at ads for apartments or houses to rent? Or asking people you know for leads on a good place?

Finding the right apartment or house might not be easy. Besides finding a place that meets your needs or wants, in an area that works, you might have questions like:

  •     Can I afford the rent and any other costs?
  •     What documents and information do I need to apply to rent a place?
  •     Will I still be able to rent if I have a bad credit history?

screen shot of rental video

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

National Consumer Protection Week in every community

When National Consumer Protection Week starts on Sunday, it will mark the 17th year of a growing partnership. NCPW now includes 89 federal, state and local agencies and non-profits working together to connect people with the best consumer education resources.

At, you’ll find resources to help you manage your money, handle credit and debt, stay safe online, avoid identity theft, and more. Read the latest news from consumer protection experts on our blog; share videos, articles, audio tips, and blog posts; order free resources; or file a complaint when you spot a scam. You’ll also get ideas on how to get involved so you can help us spread the word about consumer protection.

NCPW 2015 image

Get ready for National Consumer Protection Week!

It’s about that time again. Are you ready?

Every year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), encourages people and businesses to learn more about avoiding scams and understanding consumer rights. This year, NCPW takes place March 1-7, 2015. NCPW highlights free resources from government agencies and consumer organizations to help people make smarter buying decisions and spot rip-offs.