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Better Business Bureau: Losing your home? Get help you can trust

Dec. 4, 2010 at 6:04 a.m.


By Alan Bligh

People who are faced with foreclosure or other serious mortgage related problems need to be careful when seeking help. It is not surprising that when people are confronted with the prospect of losing their home that they become panicky and will be especially vulnerable to scams.

We received a call recently from an older lady who said she was about to lose her home. She had heard an ad on TV about a company in California that could help her save her home. She contacted the company and they said yes, they could save her home. All she had to do was send them $3,000. She was concerned that after sending the money she had not heard from them so she called us. We looked up the company at www.bbb.org and found that it had a "F" rating with BBB. Even worse, the company was under fire from the Federal Trade Commission. Fortunately, the courts had frozen the company's assets. We told the caller to contact the FTC - maybe, just maybe she could get her money back. We also advised her to contact a local counseling organization that was HUD approved. There is one such mortgage counseling agency in Victoria. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of South Texas, 3908-A John Stockbauer Drive. The phone number is 361-576-5174.

Please note that this non-profit organization does not give loans, but they can provide excellent free counseling that people can trust.

Consumers throughout Texas are receiving calls from a Consumer Protection Group. The caller wants to "alert" the consumer, usually a senior citizen, that his or her confidential financial information is circulating on the Internet and has been posted on 14,000 Web sites. The caller says that the Consumer Protection Group will remove the information. All they need is the consumer's credit card or bank account number. This is yet another scam to get your confidential information. Never give your credit card numbers or bank account number to anyone who has called you. Just hang up.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at abligh@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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