Homes & Mortgages

Annual Highlights

Springtime: For us here at FTC headquarters, it means warm weather, cherry blossoms on the National Mall, and the publication of the agency’s Annual Highlights.

.FTC Annual Highlights

Refund Checks for Consumers Misled By Dinamica Financiera

The FTC is mailing several hundred refund checks to Spanish-speaking consumers who lost money to Dinamica Financiera. The company falsely promised foreclosure relief and mortgage loan modifications.

What’s in Your Paint?

Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Finishes have settled FTC charges that they misled people into thinking the paints they sold didn’t contain VOCs — compounds that can hurt the environment and your health. The companies will stop claiming Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance interior paints contain “zero VOCs.”

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Mortgage Relief That Provides None

The FTC recently settled with two individuals and seven companies that allegedly lied about the mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue services they sold to distressed homeowners.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

This is National Consumer Protection Week!

National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Trending

In 2012, the FTC received more than 2 million consumer complaints – a first in the history of the Consumer Sentinel Network. The #1 category of complaints? Identity theft. This tidbit is from the hot-off-the-press Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2012, a fascinating analysis of complaints received in Sentinel during the previous calendar year. Sentinel is a secure online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies across the country. Agencies use the data to research cases, identify victims, and track possible targets.

Want to learn more about the top ten complaint categories, get national data, and state-by-state accountings of the top complaints? Check out the 2012 Sentinel Data Book.

When Home Insulation Claims Are Full of Hot Air

The FTC has announced that the owner of Energy Conservation Specialists (aka Thermalcool), a home insulation business, will pay up for telling people they could save 40 to 60% on their energy bills with his products — a claim he couldn’t prove — and for exaggerating the insulating power of his products.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Gear up for a Great National Consumer Protection Week!

The 15th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is March 3 - 9. Government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private sector groups from coast to coast have come together here to share information that can help you make smart decisions about a slew of subjects, including privacy protection, money and debt management, and recognizing identity theft, frauds and scams.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Winter’s here, and boy, does your utility bill show it! If you’ve got a minute, take a listen to some tips from the FTC on how to cut your energy costs. 

Audio Tips

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Have You Been Bamboozled?

Bamboo: it’s not just for tiki huts anymore. In fact, because it grows quickly and with little or no pesticide, it has become popular in products that range from flooring to furniture.

But according to recent FTC lawsuits against Amazon.com, Leon Max, Macy’s, and Sears, when it comes to soft textiles, like shirts or sheets, items that are advertised as bamboo are really rayon. What’s worse? Some bamboo wannabes were promoted as environmentally friendly, but manufacturing rayon — even when it’s made from bamboo — is far from a “green” process.
 

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