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A Guide to Buying, Selling, or Renting Property in New York State

If you're looking to buy, sell, or rent property in New York State, know your rights.

Avoid Foreclosure Rescue Scams (Video)

If you're facing foreclosure, scammers may try to take advantage of you and falsely promise to save your home. Listen to the stories of homeowners who were deceived by foreclosure rescue scams.

Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has information about how to protect yourself from mortgage modification and foreclosure rescue scams.

Basement Waterproofing Can Leave Leaks (WI)

A leaky basement is one of the most frustrating problems a homeowner can face, but expensive waterproofing isn’t always the answer. Read more

Beware of Home Improvement Transients (WI)

Some seasonal home improvement workers show up in your community offering roof repairs or driveway blacktop that turn out to be scams. Read more.

Building Contractors (GA)

There are things you should know before you contract to have a home built, or for home repairs or remodeling.  Georgia law protects consumers when they hire a building contractor.

Cable Service (GA)

Cable television provides expanded viewing options and related services to many households in Georgia.  As with any other service, you may occasionally encounter problems. Here are tips for resolving problems with your cable company.

Credit Insurance

If you apply for a mortgage or personal loan, you may be asked if you want to buy credit insurance, or it may be included in your loan proposal. Credit insurance protects the loan in case you can't make your payments, and it is optional; you don't have to buy it. It's against the law for a lender to include credit insurance or other optional products in your loan without your knowledge or permission. Read more

Dealing with Weather Emergencies

Preparing your family, pets, and property for extreme weather situations makes good sense. Protecting your personal information and finances from scammers who take advantage of weather emergencies to cheat people does, too.

Deceptive Mortgage Ads

The Federal Trade Commission says that when you shop for a home loan, it’s important to understand all the terms and conditions of a proposed loan. Start with the ad, and read what’s between the lines as well as what’s on the page.

Don’t Let Do-it-Yourself Turn Into Injure Yourself (WI)

Learn the basics of power tool and ladder safety and make your home improvement project a success. Read more.

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) is a simple tool to help Americans minimize the financial impact of a natural disaster or national emergency. It helps users identify and organize key financial records and serves as a quick reference to their most important financial documents. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit offers easy step-by-step instructions for how to protect personal assets and financial information, and reduce the challenges associated with emergencies and disasters.

File a Complaint with the FTC

The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency. If a business doesn’t make good on its promises or cheats you out of your money, the FTC wants to know.

Foreclosure Prevention Toolkit

Homeowners can get helpful information about avoiding foreclosure and foreclosure "rescue" scams.

Going Green

Want to make choices that are good for the environment and your wallet, when you shop? Learn how to question green advertising claims, shop for products that use less energy, and save gas without wasting your money.

Heating and Cooling Your Home for Less

Get practical tips to help you save energy — and money — at home.

Heating and Cooling Your Home for Less

Get practical tips to help you save energy — and money — at home.

Heating Fuel Contracts (CT)

Choosing a home heating fuel company for next winter and beyond should not be a last-minute decision. Before you sign on for the first time with a fuel company, check the contract terms and company registration.

Heating with Propane in Connecticut (CT)

If you heat with propane, you should know your rights and responsibilities and how to safely install and use propane.

Hiring and Working with a Home Improvement Contractor (CT)

Learn what to do before you hire a contractor and what your contract should include.

Home Equity Loans & Credit Lines

When you consider a home equity loan or credit line, shop around and compare loan plans offered by banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and mortgage companies. Shopping can help you get a better deal.

Home Equity Scams (WI)

If you own a home, it’s likely to be your most valuable asset. If you take out a loan based on the equity you have in your home, you may be putting that valuable asset at risk. Read more.

Home Improvement Guaranty Fund (CT)

Homeowners with who have problems with some home improvement projects may be eligible for payments from this fund.

Home Improvement Tips (WI)

Wisconsin’s home improvement laws protect consumers contracting for improvements. Read more

Home Improvement Without Headaches (CT)

There’s a lot to learn and check out before you hire a home improvement contractor. 

Home Improvement – Cancellation Notice (WI)

If you were solicited and signed a contract for more than $25 at your home, or away from the contractor’s regular place of business, Wisconsin law allows you three business days to cancel. Read more.

How to Select a Pest Control Service (Montgomery County, MD)

It's important to select a licensed professional pest control service. Consider these guidelines for selecting a pest control service.

Indiana Home Buyer's Guide

Building a new home is exciting and should be a happy time for you and your family. This guide is designed to assist you in asking the right questions of your builder before, during and after the home building experience. 

Installing Irrigation Systems (CT)

Thinking about getting a lawn or garden irrigation system? Read about contractor licensure, insurance, and warranties.

Is Your Home Playground a Safe Place to Play? (WI)

Many backyard play sets are placed on dirt or grass – surfaces that do not adequately protect children when they fall. Make your backyard playground a safe place to play!

Lawn Service Contracts (WI)

Lawn care services perform some of the time-consuming and complicated tasks of lawn maintenance. Sometimes you must sign expensive and long-term contracts to hire a company. It's important to know exactly what you want from a lawn care firm. Read more

Liens Against Your Home (GA)

People who contribute labor or materials to improve a new or existing home are allowed to file a claim of lien against the home if they do not get paid.  Read about what to know before you buy or renovate a home.

Loan Modification Scam Alert Campaign

In October 2009, NeighborWorks® America launched a national public education campaign to educate homeowners about loan modification scams. The campaign empowers homeowners to protect themselves against loan modification scams, find trusted help and report illegal activity to authorities. NeighborWorks® America is joined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Treasury, Federal Trade Commission, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and other national, state and local partners including 235 community-based affiliates. Together, they alert thousands of homeowners in hundreds of communities through real-life scam stories, fliers, postcards, e-cards, posters, print advertising, radio PSAs, events, word of mouth and social media activity. Materials are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Haitian Creole. The campaign encourages homeowners to “Know the signs. Get the facts.” Homeowners can call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for loan modification guidance from a HUD-approved counseling agency or to report a scam, or visit LoanScamAlert.org.

Moneytopia: What Makes Up a Mortgage?

When mortgage lenders consider your loan application, they look at the principal, interest, taxes, insurance and your income to evaluate your ability to repay the loan. The FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s tutorial will help you calculate how much house you can afford. Learn more

Mortgage Assistance Relief Scams (WI)

The federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule and state law make it illegal for companies to collect any fees until a homeowner has actually received an offer of relief from the lender and accepted it. Read more.

Mortgage Fraud (FL)

Learn how foreclosure rescue scams operate and how Florida homeowners can get help with foreclosure problems.

Moving and Storage Companies (Montgomery County, MD)

The success of your move within Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area depends on how well you prepare. There are federal regulations for interstate moves (from state to state or outside a Metropolitan area) but few laws that specifically address intrastate moving (within a state). In this situation, take special care to protect yourself.

New Home Warranties (Montgomery County, MD)

Montgomery County law requires new-home builders to be licensed before contracting to build a new home and to provide certain warranties on the home covered by the contract. Read more.

Obtaining the Deed to Your House (Montgomery County, MD)

Have you received a letter offering to get you a certified copy of the deed to your house? Learn how to get the deed yourself before you decide whether to pay a private company to get it for you.

Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide

The companion piece to the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG) will guide you through steps you can take before a disaster strikes.

Real Estate Guaranty Fund (CT)

Prospective property owners who lose money on some transactions may be eligible for compensation from this fund.

Rental Listing Scams

Hunting for a house or apartment to rent can be an adventure, and a balancing act. There's a lot to consider, like size, location, move-in date, monthly rent, parking, and utility bills. The FTC wants you to know how to avoid a rental scam.

Reverse Mortgages: Are They for You?

Reverse mortgages are complex loans secured by your home. Read about the terms, risks, and costs of a reverse mortgage before you sign a contract.

Reverse Mortgages: Avoiding a Reversal of Fortune

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation explains reverse mortgages and what to consider if you’re thinking about getting one. Read more

Satellite Television Service (WI)

Signing up for satellite TV service can be confusing – you should know your rights as a subscriber.

Self-Service Storage (WI)

Do you need a place to store your things temporarily? A self-service storage facility may be the answer to your problems. Before renting, get these tips from the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

Seven Things All Homeowners Should Know About Their Homeowners Insurance Policies

Do you know if your homeowner’s insurance covers losses caused by floods or other disasters? Learn how to understand your policy and how you may able to improve your coverage in Seven Things All Homeowners Should Know About Their Homeowners Insurance Policies, tips from the Consumer Federation of America and United Policyholders™.

Shocking Facts About Generators! (WI)

A generator may be able to save food in your refrigerator during a prolonged outage, keep your home office running, or power essential equipment. Generators can be expensive and noisy, and pose serious safety hazards to you and to others.  Please follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer. Read more

Shopping for Light Bulbs

Newer light bulbs are designed to use less energy.

Shopping for Light Bulbs

Newer light bulbs are designed to use less energy.

Shopping for New Windows?

You might save on heating and cooling bills with replacement windows, but your savings depends on several factors.

Shopping for New Windows?

You might save on heating and cooling bills with replacement windows, but your savings depends on several factors.

State-Federal Foreclosure Settlement (FL)

Florida Attorney General Bondi entered a landmark $25 billion joint federal-state agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. Read more

The Attorney General’s Report on the Idaho Housing Crisis

This report describes Idaho’s housing market conditions, the foreclosure process, present programs to address foreclosure, the types of problems and frustrations Idaho consumers have faced when dealing with their foreclosures, and actions the Office of the Attorney General has taken to address foreclosure issues.

Timeshares & Vacation Plans

If you're thinking about paying for a timeshare or vacation plan, the Federal Trade Commission says it’s a good idea to do some homework. You could end up having a hard time selling your timeshare. Read more

Tips for a Successful Interstate Move (WI)

Before moving your goods, movers must give you a pamphlet called "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move." It provides basic information to help you understand the documents the mover will ask you to sign. Read more.

What to Know About New Home Construction (CT)

New-home buyers harmed by a contractor may be eligible for compensation from this fund.