Welcome to the FTC
FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you—and your constituents—can use.
Volume 3– Number 2
IN THIS ISSUE
WE'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER. Compliance with the National Do Not Call Registry is exceptional. The FTC has released figures indicating that consumers have registered over 57 million telephone numbers, but have filed only 150,000 complaints. And fewer than 45 companies have received over 100 complaints each.
Press release at: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/02/dncstats0204.shtm
VERY APPEALING. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of the National Do Not Call Registry. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/02/dncappeal.htm
Appeals Court Opinion: www.ftc.gov/os/2004/02/040217dncappealopinion.pdf
SUBPRIME TARGETS. Nearly 20,000 subprime loan borrowers will receive an additional check from a redress fund resulting from FTC's settlement with First Alliance Mortgage Co., bringing total consumer redress in the case to $65 million.
Press release at: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/02/first.shtm
LENDING A HAND. FTC testified before Congress on recent efforts to combat unfair and deceptive subprime lending.
Press release at: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/02/subprimelending.shtm
GET NOTICED. Federal regulators are seeking public comment on how to improve privacy notices. Comments due by March 29, 2004.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/12/privnoticesjoint.shtm
Federal Register Notice: www.ftc.gov/os/2003/12/031223anprfinalglbnotices.pdf
I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE - spyware workshop. The FTC will host a public workshop on monitoring software (e.g., spyware and adware) on April 19, 2004, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The workshop will explore issues associated with software that gathers and sends information about users to third parties or that adversely affects the computers functioning. The workshop, which will be held at the FTC's Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., will be open to the public.
Press release at: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/02/spyware.shtm
NEW CONSUMER EDUCATION
FEDERAL AND POSTAL JOB SCAMS: TIP-OFFS TO RIP-OFFS. Consumers never need to pay for information on employment opportunities with the U.S. government. See: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt013.shtm
BEST SELLERS. Lists FTC's most popular publications and tells how to order them. http://www.ftc.gov/bulkorder
CHARITABLE DONATIONS. GIVE OR TAKE? Tips on how to exercise caution when making charitable donations and reduce unwanted telephone and mail solicitations. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel01.shtm
TIP OF THE MONTH
If you need extra money, you may turn to refinancing, a second mortgage, or a home equity loan. Consider the options carefully because if you can't make the payments, you may lose your home and the equity you've built up. The FTC offers tips to help consumers make wise financing decisions:
1. Shop around because costs can vary greatly. Factors like the annual percentage rate (APR), points and fees, and other terms of the loan affect your monthly payment.
2. Negotiate. It never hurts to ask if the lender will lower the APR or if they can change a term you don't like.
3. Before you sign any document, ask for any explanation of any amount, term or condition you don't understand. Ask if any of the loan terms you were promised have changed.
For more tips, see NEED A LOAN? THINK TWICE ABOUT USING YOUR HOME AS COLLATERAL: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea01.shtm
NUMBERS TO KNOW
FTC'S OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS: 202-326-2195.
Check out the CONGRESSIONAL RESOURCES portion of our Web site at www.ftc.gov/ftc/congress.shtm No password needed to access.
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To file a fraud complaint, go to www.ftc.gov or call FTC's toll-free line 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
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