Pulitzer-Prize Winner explains why Oregonians are defenseless against systematic abuse by insurance industry
Vets -- remember those shady rip-off businesses that were always right outside the base? That's who sends you mail like this
Remember those shady businesses that preyed on military service members, and who always located right outside the base where the youngest, least sophisticated, soldiers and sailors couldn't help but pass by them? Well, there still out there, still trying to prey on you, years after you left the service.
Remember, you NEVER need to go through a private broker to apply for your VA benefits. The VA interest rate reduction loan program can be a great deal if you've got a mortgage, but not if you go through a scammy outfit like this to sign up. And there's no reason to! This business is like one of those scams that charges you a huge fee just to do something simple you can do yourself for little or no cost, like renew a business license.
Vets, remember: you never want to give any outfit like this your confidential financial information. If there's ANY VA benefits programs you can't figure out how to apply for on your own, call the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs -- not a predator like these guys!
(Clarification: you apply for IRRRL through a mortgage broker, but before you apply, you should review program details with a Veterans Service Officer -- with interest rates having been so low so long, it's an unusual veteran who will be able to benefit from the IRRRL program -- meanwhile, the broker will make out like a bandit, and try to jack you into adding home improvements to your loan on top of charging you points and origination fees. Unless you have an unusually high-interest loan that you somehow have failed to refi already, you are probably going to be better off keeping your existing loan and using the money that you would spend on this to pay off higher cost loans, such as credit cards or student loans.)
How elderly homeowners get ripped off: forgetting the rule that THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH
Shady high-pressure sales types love to offer elderly people "free" meals and "free" trips and lots of "free" things. Now ask yourself: do you honestly think they would send you come-ons like the one above if they didn't have absolute certainty that the profits they will make off the people who fall for their pitch will more than pay for the piddling costs of these "free" meals and the postcards?
If you want to get honest, unbiased advice on ways to save money on your home energy costs, call the Energy Trust of Oregon at 1.866.368.7878 or send them an email at email@example.com to request more information about home energy conservation programs. You already pay for ETO programs and services through a small surcharge on your monthly utility bills -- so you should use the program you've already paid for. ETO is a nonprofit whose mission is to help the Northwest reach its conservation goals. They will help you evaluate all your energy and money-saving options at no cost, and they aren't selling anything.
So don't fall for shady promotional "free lunch" deals, no matter how strong you think your sales resistance is. Companies that market like this are a lot hungrier and more experienced at this game than you are.
Real people -- normal people like you and your family -- often hear lawyers and others talking about "Corporate personhood" and "Corporate Control" and corporate this and corporate that, and you don't really know what it means, and most of the companies you deal with seem pretty OK, and they make good products, and you don't really know why everybody makes a big deal out of whether "Corporations are people, my friend" in the words of Mitt Romney.
So it's important to note when a story really shows you what it means that our court system is dominated from top to bottom with judges appointed from the ranks of corporate lawyers, people who have never represented an actual real person in their entire lives. The story below shows perfectly what it means when corporate values replace human values in the justice system
When I lost my hands making flatscreens I can't afford, nobody would help me Rosa Moreno Injured workers like me don’t ask for much of the billions these companies make off of our work. We just want enough to take care of our families
Reverse mortgage ads are found on television, radio, in print, and on the internet, and many ads feature celebrity spokespeople discussing the benefits of reverse mortgages without mentioning risks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked closely at dozens of advertisements and met with older homeowners to learn about their impressions of reverse mortgage ads. Today, we’re releasing a consumer advisory and report on what we found.
John Gear is a Salem attorney in solo practice
LAWYERLY FINE PRINT:
John Gear Law Office LLC and Salem Consumer Law; John@JohnGearLaw.com and SalemConsumerLaw.com. My office is in Suite 208B of the Security Building in downtown Salem at 161 High St. SE, across from the Elsinore Theater, a half-block south of Marion County Courthouse, just south of State Street. There is abundant, free 3-hour parking on my block and throughout downtown Salem, and three free parking multi-story parking ramps in downtown Salem as well.
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