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Succes Online Financial Education Newsletter
Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCESS NewsletterFinancial Education Newsletter
 
Beware of mortgage settlement scams 

While the landmark $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement was just announced last month, scammers have wasted no time capitalizing on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners.

The settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers was signed by federal and state officials Feb. 9, and will provide assistance for homeowners in order to compensate for the faulty foreclosure practices offered by mortgage servicers following the housing market crash. Although real compensation is still months away, there have already been numerous reports of scam operations popping up across the country.

“While the government has been cracking down on foreclosure scams, it is important for you to remain diligent in keeping your personal information safe,” said Jo Kerstetter, vice president of education and community relations for MMI. “The following are some tips to help you identify and avoid falling victim to a foreclosure scam.”

Don’t panic. Mortgage scams are effective because the scammer is able to exploit the fear of a person who is in a desperate, vulnerable state. Don’t let fear cause you to make irrational decisions.

Never act under pressure. Don’t sign a contract or disclose information before doing your research. You can always request to receive any information in writing.

Trust your gut. If someone is offering you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Stay informed. Make sure you obtain detailed information about your foreclosure deadlines. If you want to know if you qualify under the Settlement, contact your bank or loan servicer directly.

Don’t release any personal financial information. If you are contacted by someone who claims to be from your financial institution and wants you to “confirm” or help them identify your personal account information, it is likely a scam. Rather than releasing information, ask for their contact information and tell them you’re going to call them back.

There is no fee involved in the National Mortgage Settlement. If you are contacted in any way from someone asking for money in return for a speedy settlement payment, they are scamming you.

For more information about mortgage assistance relief scams, visit FTC.gov. If you have questions or concerns about your mortgage loan, consider meeting with a HUD-certified housing counselor to discuss your options.

Find more resources about housing and foreclosure prevention

 


What's your money personality? Find out and create a budget that fits YOU

Budgeting: Make your money count is a free webinar offered by the financial experts at MMI that will help you overcome your fears about budgeting and start viewing a budget as a helpful tool in achieving your financial goals.

Through MMI's free budgeting webinars, you'll assess your financial situation, determine your money personality, and create a budget specifically to meet your needs.

 

How to create a budget webinar 

 

Register today for the next budgeting webinar taking place on March 28. 

 View all the upcoming financial webinars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Financial Education learn more

 

Sharpen Your Financial Skills with Free Online Courses

The goal of our highly trained professionals is to arm you with the knowledge necessary to take control of your financial situation. Our online seminars stress the development of skills that can assure long-term success. You will gain the peace of mind that comes from improved spending habits, increased savings, and the wise use of credit. Take the first step toward financial wellness by enrolling in a Web seminar today!

Learn More

 

In-Person Workshops Are Also Available In The Following Areas:

Arizona | California | Connecticut | Colorado | Illinois | Louisiana | Maine | Massachusetts | Mississippi | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Texas - Fort Worth Area | Texas - Houston Area | Virginia | Greater Washington D.C. | Washington State

View upcoming financial education workshops

 

 

Five frugal ways to save at the gas pump

While high prices may cause panic for some consumers, remember that there are steps you can take to make sure soaring prices don’t send you into a financial tailspin. The following suggestions will help you get the most out of a full tank.

1. Search for the best price. Gas prices usually vary from one area of town to the other. Search for websites that can give you detailed information about the gas prices at stations in your neighborhood.

2. Drive sensibly. Did you know that exceeding the speed limit by just 5 mph can result in an average fuel economy loss of 6 percent? Constant accelerating and braking wastes gas, and according to CNN Money, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent when driving at highway speeds and by 5 percent when cruising around town.

3. Plan trips in advance. If you know you have to run multiple errands in a day, make a plan that will help you consolidate the number of trips you have to take. This tactic is also useful for driving down the cost of road trips. Gas prices vary from one city to another. Plan your route so you don’t get stuck paying extra because you have no choice.

4. Routinely maintain your vehicle. Get your vehicle checked on a regular basis to make sure all systems are running smoothly. Make sure spark plugs and sensors are replaced on time and the tire pressure is at the right level. If these aren’t maintained, your vehicle will have to work harder, which means guzzling more gas.

5. Look into alternatives. Research other methods of transportation. These could include carpooling with co-workers, using public transportation, or even riding a bicycle. With the growing number of affordable hybrid vehicles on the market, you may find that you can save money by investing in a new car. Automotive financial calculators can help you calculate savings.

For more information on how to make wise financial choices at the pump, watch Best Gas Credit Cards, a video that shows you a few simple ways to save an additional 15 to 30 cents on every gallon.


MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
Tips for Success

Don't risk missing a payment-sign up for DepositDirect. DepositDirect Authorization allows us to withdraw your deposit from your bank account and save time and money each month. It's secure, convenient and easy! Enroll online today!

Update your account balances online. When you receive your monthly statement from your creditors, login to your MMI account and update your balances. It is important that we have the most accurate balance information possible on file. 

If you would like more information about signing up for a Debt Management Plan through Money Management International, visit MoneyManagement.org.


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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit MoneyManagement.org.

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