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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.


1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)

Last Remaining Defendants in “Hope Now” Scheme Settle FTC Charges; Order Puts Them Out...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 16, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission has obtained a settlement against the remaining defendants in an allegedly fraudulent mortgage modification scheme that will permanently ban them from the mortgage assistance business and force them to return ill-gotten gains to consumers.

At FTC’s Request, Court Shuts Down Deceptive Mortgage and Debt Relief Operation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - October 4, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a U.S. district court has shut down two related operations as a result of settlements with defendants who allegedly failed to provide promised debt relief services and jeopardized their clients’ privacy by tossing their personal information into unsecured dumpsters. In addition, one of the operations allegedly charged consumers a $1,495 up-front fee based on phony promises that they would get mortgage relief assistance.

FTC Asks Court To Halt Defendant from Impersonating Federal Agencies While Steering Consumers to...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 22, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court to halt the misleading claims of a defendant who allegedly deceived consumers by using multiple websites to impersonate federal consumer assistance agencies or pretend to be affiliated with them. Through the websites, the defendant solicited indebted consumers and referred them to companies selling mortgage, tax, and debt relief services with promises that their debts would be substantially reduced or eliminated, according to the FTC complaint.

FTC Adds Defendant in Deceptive Mortgage Loan Modification Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 2, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The FTC has amended its complaint against U.S. Mortgage Funding, Inc. by adding as a defendant Louis Gendason. The amended complaint also asks the court to issue a preliminary injunction against Gendason that will reduce the chance of consumer injury and preserve the possibility of consumer redress while the defendants await trial.

FTC Seeks Public Comment on Dow Chemical’s Application to Sell Its Torrance, California, Acrylic...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 2, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on The Dow Chemical Company’s application for FTC approval to sell to Hager Pacific Acquisitions, LLC, real estate and other property in Torrance, California, which is related to a latex polymers business that Dow previously divested to Arkema Inc. Hager Pacific Acquisitions, LLC is a subsidiary of Hager Pacific Properties.

Marketers Falsely Claimed to Be Affiliated with Federal Assistance Programs, Agency Alleges; Operators in...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 25, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission put an end to three schemes that claimed they would help consumers with their mortgage and debt problems, as part of settlements with defendants who allegedly claimed a bogus affiliation with government assistance programs.

FTC Testifies on Consumer Protection and the Rent-to-Own Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 26, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission testified today on consumer protection issues relating to the rent-to-own industry. The testimony described the agency’s role in enforcing laws relating to financial issues, provided background on the rent-to-own industry, and described key findings of a 2000 report published by the FTC’s Bureau of Economics on the rent-to-own industry.

FTC Returns Nearly $108 Million to 450,000 Homeowners Overcharged by Countrywide for Loan Servicing...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 20, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 450,177 refund checks worth almost $108 million to homeowners who were allegedly overcharged by Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. As part of the FTC’s efforts to protect financially distressed homeowners, the FTC reached a settlement with Countrywide last year over allegations that the company collected excessive fees from borrowers who were struggling to keep their homes.

FTC Issues New Rule Strengthening Consumer Protections Against Deceptive Mortgage Advertisements

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 20, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- A new Federal Trade Commission Rule will strengthen consumer protections by banning deceptive claims about consumer mortgages in advertising or other types of commercial communications. The Rule is designed to create a level playing field for legitimate businesses to compete in the marketplace.

FTC Halts Timeshare Property Resale Scam; Telemarketers Falsely Claimed They Had Buyers Lined Up,...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 19, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted a telemarketing operation that targeted consumers trying to sell their timeshare properties. The defendants allegedly charged consumers thousands of dollars, falsely claiming they had buyers lined up for sales that supposedly would be reviewed and approved by the FTC. As part of its continuing crackdown on con artists who prey upon financially distressed consumers, the FTC seeks to permanently end the defendants’ deceptive practices and make them refund consumers’ money.

FTC Will Not Enforce Provisions of MARS Rule Against Real Estate Professionals Helping Consumers...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 15, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission today issued a statement announcing that it will forbear from enforcing most provisions of its Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule against real estate brokers and their agents who assist financially distressed consumers in obtaining short sales from their lenders or servicers.

FTC Stops Bogus Mortgage Loan Modification Business

WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 21, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- Under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court banned three men and their company from the mortgage modification business and ordered them to pay nearly $19 million for consumer refunds. The defendants allegedly deceived distressed homeowners with phony claims that they would negotiate with lenders to modify their mortgages and make them more affordable

FTC Offers Tips to Help People Avoid Being Scammed By Door-to-Door Sales Agents Pitching...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 29, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission is offering information to help homeowners avoid unscrupulous sales agents who go door-to-door during the summer months. These scammers use deceptive, high-pressure tactics to get people to buy expensive, and sometimes substandard, home security systems they often don’t need.

FTC Returns $1.5 Million to Consumers from Mortgage Lender Charged With Illegally Discriminating Against...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 26, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- On April 22, 2011, an administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission mailed 3,162 refund checks to borrowers allegedly harmed by Golden Empire Mortgage, Inc. and Howard D. Kootstra. The refund checks stem from a lawsuit the FTC filed against Golden Empire and Kootstra, alleging that they illegally charged Hispanic consumers higher prices for mortgage loans than non-Hispanic white consumers – price disparities that could not be explained by the applicants’ credit characteristics or underwriting risk.

FTC Returns $2.3 Million to Consumers; Mortgage Foreclosure Rescue Scam Victims Receive Full Refunds

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 15, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission has mailed 1,410 refund checks to consumers allegedly defrauded by Home Assure LLC, a so-called mortgage foreclosure rescue service. The FTC alleged that the company charged consumers an up-front fee and falsely claimed its special relationships with lenders would enable it to get favorable loan modifications or stop foreclosure

FTC Settlement Collects $2.2 Million, Bans Marketers From Mortgage Relief Business

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 11, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- Under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, two companies and three individuals are banned from the mortgage relief services business and must relinquish $2.2 million in assets for consumer refunds. The action is part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to stop scams that target financially strapped homeowners seeking mortgage relief.

U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds FTC Order in RealComp Matter

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 11, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz issued the following statement regarding this week’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding the FTC’s order in the RealComp matter.

Countdown to National Consumer Protection Week 2011 Begins; Website and Blog Launched

Washington, DC - January 24, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission has launched the website and blog for National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2011, to be held March 6-12. The annual event, now in its 13th year, is hosted by the FTC and nearly 30 other government agencies, consumer groups, and national organizations. The website,, provides information about consumer rights, and promotes free resources to help consumers protect their privacy, manage credit and debt, avoid identity theft, understand mortgages, and recognize frauds and scams.

FTC Staff Submits Comments to Federal Reserve on Making Fair Lending Law Stronger; FTC...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 17, 2010 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Trade Commission staff has submitted comments to the Federal Reserve Board recommending ways the Board could strengthen the rules under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which requires some mortgage lenders to collect and report loan data that the government uses to analyze whether they are complying with fair lending laws

FTC Action Puts Deceptive Marketer Out of the Debt Relief Business

WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 6, 2010 - (RealEstateRama) -- A deceptive advertising operation has been banned from the debt relief business under a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission. As part of a continuing crackdown on scams that target consumers in financial distress, the FTC charged the defendants with deceptively claiming they could save consumers thousands of dollars by reducing their credit card debt.

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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.