Part 4 of Annual “Freebies” – FTC Resources

Written By: Stacey Sprain

The Federal Trade Commission website is a resource I refer people to fairly often because of the informative and educational materials available for consumer distribution. The FTC offers a lot of great information available in web format, PDF format and some materials are even available to order in bulk quantities for free which makes this a great resource for seminar materials and overall distribution to homebuyers and homeowners. Heck, you can probably learn a lot about some of the topics for your own knowledge as well! This is where I learned a lot of what I know about credit reporting rules and regulations, for example!

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

For a better understanding of what the Federal Trade Commission is, their mission is “To prevent business practices that are anti-competitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers; to enhance informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process; and to accomplish this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.”

Strategic goals of the FTC include the following:
1. Protect Consumers: Prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace.
2. Maintain Competition: Prevent anticompetitive mergers and other anticompetitive business practices in the marketplace.
3. Advance Performance: Advance the FTC’s performance through organizational, individual, and management excellence.
Now after reading that information about the FTC, it may make more sense to you how the FTC relates to those of us in the lending industry. With consumer protection at the forefront of the FTC, mortgage-related topics are definitely found and addressed at the website.
http://www.ftc.gov/ is the home page of the Federal Trade Commission website. You’ll find an abundance of consumer topics of interest at the left hand column of the FTC’s Consumer Information website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm. The majority of information I have found to be most informative and useful the years for mortgage-related purposes can be found under
• Credit & Loans athttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit.shtm; and
• ID Theft, Privacy & Security athttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data.shtm.
There are five sub-topics linked under the Credit & Loans Heading which include Credit Reporting, Credit Cards and Consumer Loans, Credit Reports and Scoring, Debt, Mortgages and Real Estate and Privacy. You’ll find specific materials by single interest under these sub-headings in the forms of bulletins, brochures and booklets.
Here are individual links that take you directly to some of my most commonly used resource information. Most are available in both English and Spanish!
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Your Access to Free Annual Credit Reportshttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm Make sure you educate your borrowers about their rights to free annual credit reports but make sure they know the difference between the fed website and all the other free credit scammers out there!
• “Getting Credit” website for Consumershttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/gettingcredit/ and 24 page booklet athttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre32.pdf This booklet is a great resource for credit education seminars!

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

• FTC Facts for Consumers- Building a Better Credit Reporthttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre03.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Co-Signing a Loanhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre06.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Credit and Divorcehttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre08.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Credit and Your Consumer Rightshttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre01.shtm
• Equal Credit Opportunity: Understanding Your Rights Under the Lawhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre15.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- How to Manage Your Mortgage if Your Lender Files Bankruptcyhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea12.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Knee Deep in Debthttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre19.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers Prescreened Offers for Credit and Insurancehttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre17.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Selling Your Home? Tips for Selecting a Realtor http://www.ftc.gov/bc/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/zrea01.pdf
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Deceptive Mortgage Ads- What They Say and Leave Outhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt023.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Shopping for a Home Equity Loanhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt088.shtm
• FTC Facts for Consumers- Credit Repair: How to Help Yourselfhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm Are you sick and tired of having to refer your borrowers to costly credit repair places who can’t always be relied on for timely results? Provide this information to your borrower so he/she can make use of his/her legal right to a free annual credit report and a free resource to dispute errors and inaccurate reporting at no charge!
• FTC Facts for Consumers- How to Dispute Credit Report Errorshttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm Do you have a borrower’s credit report in front of you that desperately needs some clean up? Provide this information to your borrower so he/she can make use of his/her legal right to a free annual credit report and a free resource to dispute errors and inaccurate reporting at no charge!
• Remedying the Effects of Identity Thefthttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt09.pdf This is a great resource for borrowers who discover they are victims of identity theft when you pull their credit for mortgage application!
• FTC Consumer Alert- Fake Credit Report Sites: Cashing in on Personal Informationhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt130.shtm

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

• FTC Consumer Alert- Shopping or a Mortgage? Your Application May Trigger Competing Offershttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt171.shtm Ever get a call from an irate borrower wondering why they are getting marketing calls immediately after you pulled their credit with their mortgage application? Read this! It explains how and why this happens and how consumers can opt out to avoid it in the future!
• How to Plan and Host Identity Theft Prevention Seminarshttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt06.pdf Order free hard copies of this 28 page kit with sample materials on CD and videos on DVD at the bulk orders website athttps://bulkorder.ftc.gov/index.php?showcat=Identity+Theft%2C+Privacy%2C... and the FTC will ship the materials right to your door for no charge!
• Instructions on How to Complete and Submit Identity Theft Victim Complaint http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf
• National Do Not Call Registry https://donotcall.gov/ Make sure you direct your borrowers to register at the Do Not Call Registry so you can eliminate marketing opportunities for your competitors!
For bulk quantities of FTC publications, which may include brochures, booklets, book markets and pamphlets, visit the following bulk orders websites:
• Credit and Loans Bulk Orders https://bulkorder.ftc.gov/showcat.php?cat=Credit+and+Loans
• Identity Theft, Privacy and Securityhttps://bulkorder.ftc.gov/showcat.php?cat=Identity+Theft%2C+Privacy%2C+a...
• Business-Related Publications https://bulkorder.ftc.gov/showcat.php?cat=Business
These resources have offered excellent education to me over many years and I hope you’ll find them useful and informative too! It’s amazing the amount of additional help you can offer homebuyers and homeowners when you are an informed consumer yourself!



About The Author

Stacey Sprain - As an NAMP® staff writer, Ms. Stacey Sprain is currently a NAMP® member in good standing, and is a NAMP® Certified Ambassador Loan Processor (NAMP®-CALP). With over 15+ years of mortgage banking experience, Stacey is also a Quality Control Manager for a major mortgage lending institution. If you would like to become a volunteer writer for us, please email us at: contact@mortgageprocessor.org.

 


Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMP® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMP® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMP® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMP®. Nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.