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Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.

The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers’ interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies.

Contact:

202-326-3224
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)

FTC Begins Refund Process for Consumers Harmed by Mortgage Foreclosure ‘Rescue’ Scheme

WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 12, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- To help Spanish-speaking consumers recover money lost to a scam that promised to stop foreclosure or obtain mortgage loan modifications, the Federal Trade Commission mailed claim forms this week, that must be submitted no later than January 14, 2013.

FTC Warns Consumers: Charity and Home Repair Scams May Appear After a Disaster

National
WASHINGTON, D.C. - October 31, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Trade Commission reminds consumers that scams often follow disasters. The nation’s consumer protection agency warns people about urgent appeals for charitable donations, and cautions residents in stricken areas about fraudulent home repair offers.

FTC Cracks Down on Phony Mortgage Relief Schemes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - October 9, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission has filed three separate suits in federal court to halt the allegedly deceptive tactics of three operations that preyed on distressed homeowners by falsely claiming they could save their homes from foreclosure, and then charging them thousands of dollars up-front, while delivering little or no help and often driving them deeper into debt.

FTC Staff Submits Comment to CFPB on Mortgage Disclosure Forms

WASHINGTON, D.C. - October 2, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission’s staff submitted a comment to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on disclosure forms designed to help consumers understand the features, costs, and risks of home mortgage loans. The comment is in response to a CFPB Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding disclosures consumers receive when they apply for and close on a mortgage loan.

FTC Approves Modified Final Order Settling Charges that CoStar’s $860 Million Acquisition of LoopNet...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 30, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a modified final order settling charges that CoStar Group, Inc.'s $860 million acquisition of Loopnet would have been anticompetitive in the market for commercial real estate information services in the United States. The modified final order resolving the charges preserves competition that otherwise would have been lost through the acquisition by requiring the combined firm to sell LoopNet's interest in Xceligent, a significant provider of U.S. commercial real estate information.

FTC Warns Consumers: Charity and Home Repair Scams May Appear After a Disaster

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 30, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- As Hurricane Isaac strikes the Gulf Coast, the Federal Trade Commission reminds consumers that scams often follow disasters. The nation’s consumer protection agency warns people about urgent appeals for charitable donations, and cautions residents in stricken areas about fraudulent home repair offers.

At FTC’s Request, U.S. Court Hands Down Record $478 Million Judgment Against Marketers of...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 24, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court ordered the marketers of three get-rich-quick systems, including “John Beck's Free & Clear Real Estate System,” to pay a record $478 million for deceiving close to one million consumers with phony claims that they could make easy money using their programs. The Order also imposes a lifetime ban that puts three of the defendants permanently out of the infomercial and telemarketing businesses.

FTC Sends Refunds to Consumers Lured by Money-Making Scam

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 10, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 9,282 refund checks to consumers who were deceived by false promises that they could earn substantial income if they bought and followed the "Stefanchik Program" to buy and sell privately held promissory notes and mortgages. The FTC alleged that claims made by John Stefanchik and his company, Beringer Corporation, were false and unsubstantiated, and that most consumers made no money at all. The refunds are a result of a court settlement resolving a money judgment against the defendants.

FTC Sends Refunds to Consumers Allegedly Deceived by First Universal Lending Mortgage Loan Modification...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 9, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission mailed more than 13,000 refund checks to consumers who were allegedly deceived by a company that claimed it would negotiate with lenders to modify the consumers' mortgages and make them more affordable. To resolve FTC charges, First Universal Lending and its owners agreed to an order banning them from the mortgage relief services business.

FTC Action Halts Dominican Mortgage Assistance Scam That Allegedly Defrauded Spanish-Speaking U.S. Homeowners of...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 30, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted a nationwide scam operating from the Dominican Republic – but pretending to be in Chicago – that allegedly peddled fake mortgage assistance relief to financially distressed Spanish-speaking homeowners in the United States.

FTC and Florida Attorney General Sue Timeshare Rental/Resale Operation for Deception

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 19, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi brought legal action against a timeshare rental/resale telemarketing business and its owner for allegedly deceiving thousands of consumers throughout the country into paying up to $2,000 based on false promises that they had buyers or renters lined up for consumers' timeshare properties, and then failing to deliver promised refunds. At the plaintiffs' request, a federal court halted the operation and froze the defendants' assets pending further litigation.

Operators of “Debt Advocacy” Firm Settle with FTC, Must Pay More than $750,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 21, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The operators of an allegedly deceptive mortgage modification business will pay more than $750,000 in ill-gotten gains to settle Federal Trade Commission charges. The settlements also permanently ban the 11 defendants from selling any mortgage assistance relief products.

FTC Action Halts Alleged “Forensic Audit” Scam that Targeted Consumers in Danger of Losing...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 13, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted an operation that allegedly preyed on financially vulnerable homeowners, convincing them to pay $1,995 or more by holding out bogus promises that they could help them avoid foreclosure and renegotiate their mortgages.

FTC Places Conditions on CoStar’s $860 Million Acquisition of LoopNet

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 26, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission will require CoStar Group, the largest provider of commercial real estate information services in the United States, to sell LoopNet's ownership interest in Xceligent, under a proposed order settling charges that CoStar's $860 million acquisition of LoopNet would be anticompetitive.

FTC Action Leads to Court Order Banning Final “U.S. Homeowners Relief” Defendants from Debt...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 6, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has imposed a court order with a $3.89 million judgment against defendant Samuel Paul Bain and three of his companies for their role in an allegedly fraudulent mortgage modification and foreclosure relief scheme.

FTC Legal Action Halts Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers Who Lured Homeowners with Bogus Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 22, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted an operation that took in more than $1 million by allegedly selling homeowners bogus mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue products, including a scam that falsely promised to get help for homeowners who joined others to file so-called “mass joinder” lawsuits against their lenders. This is the FTC’s first case against alleged scammers who pitch these kinds of lawsuits.

FTC Action Leads to Ban on Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers Who Harmed Thousands of...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 14, 2012 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court put the mortgage relief business permanently off limits to marketers who allegedly charged thousands of consumers up to $2,600 each, based on bogus promises to provide loan modifications that would make mortgages much more affordable.

FTC Extends Deadline for Comments in Two Proceedings: Regulatory Review of Textile Labeling Rules...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 29, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- In response to requests from stakeholders, the Federal Trade Commission has extended the deadlines for the public to submit comments in two different proceedings. The deadline to submit comments in the agency's review of its Textile Rules will be extended 30 days until February 2. The deadline for public comments on new energy labeling requirements for residential heating and cooling equipment will be extended until February 6.

FTC Settlement Requires “U.S. Homeowners Relief” Defendants to Pay Millions, Bans Them from Debt...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 15, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- Six defendants have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they participated in a fraudulent mortgage modification and foreclosure relief scheme. The settlement orders require five defendants to pay back millions in ill-gotten gains, and permanently ban all six from selling any mortgage assistance or debt relief products. The settlements with the U.S. Homeowners Relief defendants are part of the agency’s ongoing crackdown on frauds targeting consumers in financial distress.

FTC Seeks Public Comment on Energy Labels for Home Heating and Cooling Equipment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 18, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on new energy labeling requirements for residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps, to help consumers and businesses install equipment appropriate for their location under the Department of Energy's new regional efficiency standards.

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FEMA

FEMA Offers Free Rebuilding Tips at Local Home Improvement Stores

Disaster survivors affected by the severe storms and floods from Tropical Storm Imelda, can visit local home improvement stores in Houston, Pasadena and Webster for rebuilding tips from mitigation experts.