Consumer and Housing News
Please check this page frequently for the latest in news that affects you as a consumer. In our Library, we have more topics and forms for you to use for Consumer issues.
We also have several free legal forms on our Free Legal Forms page that help with Consumer problems.
Brochure on services offered by Kansas Legal Services
File your 2013 Federal taxes for FREE! Click www.taxact.com/icanefileFile 2013 state income taxes for free with Kansas E-File
Are you a consumer with a complaint or desiring more information?
NEW! Here is a link to the Office of the State Bank Commissioner of Kansas where you can file a complaint about a bank or financial institution or find consumer-related resources that may be helpful to you.
Complaints Against Lenders
The New York Times reported that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 23,500 complaints about mortgage lenders from last December through this past June, according to a recently released semiannual report. And, not surprisingly, just over half the complaints centered on the problems borrowers encountered when they were unable to make payments. Read the story here.
The five most frequent consumer complaints
Have you been unhappy with your bank in the past year? Or gotten an unpleasant call from a debt collector? You're not alone.
The Federal Trade Commission received more than 1.8 million gripes from consumers last year about identity theft, used-car sales and advance-free loans, among others. That marked a 24 percent increase from 2010 and the fifth straight year that the number of complaints rose.
Read more about it here.
Read more about poverty in Kansas and other parts of the U.S. here.
NEW in 2014 Tax Identity Theft Awareness
Check out our Identity Theft page
Protect yourself from identity theft -- from the Kansas Attorney General's office, this information sheet will give you helpful tips.
Another resource for learning more about Identity Theft that helps you
- determine if you are the victim of Identity Theft and
- how to recover from Identity Theft is here.
The Federal Trade Commission has created this resource to help consumers. The letters suggested in this booklet can be created through the interactive interviews below.
The Federal Trade Commission offers forms and sample letters for victims
of identity theft that help you get started.
DEBT COLLECTION - LOANS
8 Signs of Predatory Lending -- from the Center for Responsible Lending. These are signs you should look for to protect yourself from predatory lenders when you are shopping for a mortgage loan.
Notice to Creditor - If all your income is from Social Security, you are entitled to notify your creditor of this fact. This may discourage a creditor from going the the process of bank account attachment. Use this form to notify any creditor. A copy should be filed with the Court and a copy sent to the Creditor. No court costs are required for filing this notice.
Your bank should help you in notifying the creditor that only Social Security money goes to your account. The Bank is required to protect an amount up to total of two months of your Social Security benefits. If the bank doesn't help, you can file a complaint with the Controller of Currency, a Federal agency that oversees most banks. You can learn more about the bank's obligation regarding attachment here.
Bankruptcy Counseling and Education through Housing & Credit Counseling, Inc. (HCCI)
Kansas Legal Services provides consumer bankruptcy legal services through our Reduced Fee program. This program is limited to families or individuals with income at 250% of the Federal poverty guideline. Contact Kansas Legal Services at 1-800-723-6953 Or please apply online.
Credit Report Dispute Letter Read about it here.
For tips from The National Consumer Law Center on what to check in your credit report, click here
To file a credit reporting complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency that oversees the credit reporting industry, click here
The National Mortgage Settlement will offer various forms of relief for distressed families who qualify. Details are still being ironed out, but this preliminary guide offers information for those who may be eligible.
HUD Online Housing Complaint -- file it online