Consumer – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Thu, 11 Jan 2018 22:25:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/chathamjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/10888465-four-newspaper-pile-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Vector-newspaper-icon-headline-5580d7a0v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 Consumer – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com 32 32 Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Consumer – Chatham Journal Newspaper Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Consumer – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://chathamjournal.com/category/living/consumer/ TV-G 63016882 Watch out for scam calls from (800) 794-1404 http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/08/watch-out-for-scam-calls-from-800-794-1404/ Wed, 08 Jul 2015 18:26:09 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4478 by *protected email* Pittsboro, NC – So I answered my phone, and what I heard was it ringing to another line. Then a person came on the line from Express Update. She asked if my name was Monnda. I know…

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by *protected email*

Pittsboro, NC – So I answered my phone, and what I heard was it ringing to another line.

Then a person came on the line from Express Update.

Scam callsShe asked if my name was Monnda. I know then that this was a business call. And then she wanted to confirm certain information about me. By this time, I knew that it was a scam.

If you get a call like this, don’t answer any of the questions.

Update my foot. I’m sure that the rest of the questions would have to do with bank accounts & maybe some person information.

Looked it up on the internet, and sure enough, I was right.

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CFPB study finds many reverse mortgage ads are misleading http://chathamjournal.com/2015/06/24/cfpb-study-finds-many-reverse-mortgage-ads-are-misleading/ Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:54:57 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4379 Advocates urge CFPB to protect seniors from reverse mortgage abuses Washington, D.C. – A new study released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that many advertisements for reverse mortgages contain incomplete or inaccurate information that can pose a serious…

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Advocates urge CFPB to protect seniors from reverse mortgage abuses

Washington, D.C. – A new study released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that many advertisements for reverse mortgages contain incomplete or inaccurate information that can pose a serious risk to seniors who take out such loans. The study was issued in conjunction with an advisory to consumers warning them to “watch out for misleading and confusing reverse mortgage advertisements.”

Reverse Mortgage abuseConsumers Union and Californians for Nursing Home Reform praised the CFPB for alerting seniors about the deceptive ads and urged the consumer watchdog to adopt reforms to protect seniors from reverse mortgage abuses.

“These ads paint a misleading rosy picture about reverse mortgages that may lead some seniors to make poor choices and jeopardize their retirement security,” said Norma Garcia, senior attorney for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of   Consumer Reports.  “The CFPB should take additional steps to make sure seniors are protected from reverse mortgages abuses and get all the information they need to make the choice that’s right for them.”

Reverse mortgages enable borrowers who are 62 or older to obtain income through cash payment or lines of credit by tapping the equity in their home. The reverse mortgage loan becomes due when the borrower dies, leaves the home for 12 consecutive months or more, or fails to maintain the property or pay homeowners insurance or property taxes. Borrowers must pay a loan origination fee, closing costs, and compounding interests on the loan principal, which can be significant.

The CFPB reviewed nearly 100 reverse mortgage ads and conducted focus groups with seniors to gauge their understanding of the claims made in the ads.  It concluded that the ads may cause some seniors to underestimate the risks and take out a reverse mortgage that may not be right for them.  As a result they could end up running out of money or even lose their homes by running afoul of the complicated terms of the loan.

Consumers Union and Californians for Nursing Home Reform have urged the CFPB to require lenders to give prospective borrowers a self-evaluation worksheet before the mandatory counseling session so they can consider key issues that will help them decide whether a reverse mortgage is right for them.  California already requires this worksheet.  The worksheet requires the consumer to take a moment to think about what they are about to do instead of skimming over a written disclosure.

“A worksheet that calls for critical reflection works better than disclosures,” said Prescott Cole, Californians for Nursing Home Reform senior attorney.  “Recent scientific brain studies indicate that in real life situations disclosures do not enhance a purchaser’s understanding of the suitability of a purchase, however, worksheets designed to require thought about the suitability of the purchase does.”

In addition, Consumers Union and Californians for Nursing Home Reform called on the CFPB to take a number of additional steps to protect seniors, including:

Require lenders to give borrowers a reversed mortgage worksheet:  Lenders should be required to give prospective borrowers a self-evaluation worksheet before the mandatory counseling session so they can consider key issues that will help them decide whether a reverse mortgage is right for them.  California already requires this worksheet, which helps to alert borrowers to issues they may want to get advice about during the counseling session.

Ensure loans are suitable for borrowers: Lenders and brokers should be required to consider whether the loans put borrowers at risk of losing their homes, if the borrower understands the complex nature of the contract, and if there are more viable alternatives available to the borrower.

Establish a fiduciary responsibility for the loan: Lenders and brokers must be required to act in the best interests of the borrower and should be held liable for violating this fiduciary duty.

Outlaw deceptive marketing: All reverse mortgages should be required to include information to help borrowers determine whether the loans are suitable for them.

Adopt stronger prohibitions on cross promotions: Prohibitions against cross promotions of other financial products by lenders and brokers should extend to non-HECM loans. Insurance agents and brokers should be held liable for selling an annuity when it is purchased with reverse mortgage funds.

Strengthen the quality and content of counseling: HUD counselors should be required to hold an in-person session with prospective borrowers to determine whether a reverse mortgage is suitable for the borrower. The counselor should deny a counseling certificate to the borrower if the loan is not in the best interest of the senior.

Protect non-borrowing spouses and tenants: Spouses and tenants whose names are not on the reverse mortgage loan should be notified about their limited rights to remain in the home after the borrower dies or permanently moves out of the home.

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Siler City seminar to offer tips to avoid consumer fraud, scams and ID theft http://chathamjournal.com/2015/06/21/siler-city-seminar-to-offer-tips-to-avoid-consumer-fraud-scams-and-id-theft/ Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:53:23 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4175 Siler City, NC – As part of Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Month, several Chatham agencies and organizations have joined together to hold a seminar in Siler City on Consumer Fraud, Scams and Identity Theft. People of all ages…

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Siler City, NC – As part of Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Month, several Chatham agencies and organizations have joined together to hold a seminar in Siler City on Consumer Fraud, Scams and Identity Theft. People of all ages are at risk and are invited to attend.

On Thursday, June 25, from 6-7 pm at the Central Carolina Community College in Siler City, David Kirkman, special deputy attorney general in the North Carolina Department of Justice, will share his knowledge and experience on this subject and will answer questions. A Chatham County resident, Kirkman has served for almost three decades as a Consumer Protection enforcement attorney in the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

As manager of the Elder Fraud Unit, Kirkman prosecutes cases to stop cross-border fraud, telemarketing fraud, Do-Not-Call violations, home repair fraud, and an array of frauds and scams targeting older consumers. He also is a member of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Task Force on Elder Fraud.

While much of his work is targeted at assisting older adults, his knowledge of and experience with fraud, scams, and identity theft are of interest and relevant to people of all ages. For example, Kirkman handles complaints related to new home construction.

“We believe that David Kirkman has obtained more restraining orders and court injunctions against telemarketers than any other attorney in the country,” said Dennis Streets, director of the Chatham County Council on Aging. In November of 2006, the News and Observer (Raleigh) recognized him as its “Tar Heel of the Week.”

Besides the Council on Aging, other partners involved in the June 25 seminar include the Chatham County Department of Social Services, the Chatham County SheriIdentity Theftff’s Office, Central Carolina Community College, Hispanic Liaison and the Chatham Advocacy for Seniors Team.

Streets said, “Anyone can be a victim of fraud, scams and identification theft regardless of background, income, race or age. Perpetrators of fraud, scams and identify theft do not discriminate in choosing whom they target. It could be you or me.”

Advance registration is not required, but people are encouraged to arrive early. If you have questions, contact the Eastern Chatham Senior Center at 919-542-4512 or the Western Chatham Senior Center at 919-742-3975. Central Carolina Community College is located at 400 Progress Blvd., Siler City down the street from Chatham Hospital.

For information about fraud and scams affecting seniors, see the website of the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/fraud/cfalert.htm. The North Carolina Department of Justice website also has an array of resources and tips: http://ncdoj.com/

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ShopSmart’s best & worst products of the year http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/shopSmart-best-worst-products-of-the-year-131218.shtml Thu, 19 Dec 2013 15:25:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/shopSmart-best-worst-products-of-the-year-131218.shtml Not every product lives up to its claims, and others sometimes exceeds expectations. The January 2014 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, spotlights dozens of products in six categories – cleaning and home improvement, food and wine, cooking and food prep, electronics, everyday products, and cars – that stood out in tests and identifies fifteen that weren’t up to par.

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Five great financial freebies http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/five-great-financial-freebies-130814.shtml Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:52:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/five-great-financial-freebies-130814.shtml There are free financial products and services to be had, but consumers may have to shell out money to get some of them. The September 2013 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from Consumer Reports, features an up-close look at five truly free financial produ...

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Consumer Reports finds Verizon FiOS best overall of widely-available TV, Internet, and phone bundle providers http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/technology/cr-verizon-fios-best-overall-120702.shtml Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:19:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/technology/cr-verizon-fios-best-overall-120702.shtml There are few TV, phone, and Internet providers that manage to please subscribers on all counts, and those that do don’t typically serve a lot of consumers. Verizon FiOS, which is available in portions of 12 mostly Eastern states, Washington, D.C., s...

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Freebie heaven: ShopSmart finds best websites for free stuff http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/shopsmart-finds-best-websites-for-free-stuff-120624.shtml Mon, 25 Jun 2012 23:19:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/shopsmart-finds-best-websites-for-free-stuff-120624.shtml We all love free stuff?and the Internet is bursting with giveaways and coupons that let you nab cool things without spending a penny. The July 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, found the best websites for freebie...

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Consumer Reports kitchen guide helps homeowners get the luxury look—for thousands less http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/home/consumer-reports-kitchen-guide-helps-consumers-save-money-120608.shtml Sat, 09 Jun 2012 14:44:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/home/consumer-reports-kitchen-guide-helps-consumers-save-money-120608.shtml Consumer Reports’ latest 26-page kitchen package confirms that consumers don’t need a bottomless budget to get a kitchen that looks and feels expensive, with expert tips, test ratings and brand-reliability results to help homeowners save thousands ...

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Consumer Reports: Seven steps to tackle student debt http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/cr-seven-steps-to-tackle-student-debt-120409.shtml Tue, 10 Apr 2012 22:29:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/cr-seven-steps-to-tackle-student-debt-120409.shtml There are more than 36 million people saddled with federal student debt, but the depressed job market makes repaying education loans harder than it has been in decades. Consumer Reports has identified seven steps borrowers can take to help them get a h...

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ShopSmart’s five debit card don’ts http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/debit-card-donts-120321.shtml Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:10:00 +0000 http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/living/consumer/debit-card-donts-120321.shtml Using a debit card may seem like the best choice when you don’t want to use cash or a credit card to make a purchase. However, the latest issue of ShopSmart identifies five scenarios that can put consumers at risk when using their debit cards. The Ap...

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