Is Your Housing Help Legit Or A Scam, DTV Transition Help, Hurricane Preparedness Tax Rebate

Liz Crenshaw Consumer Capsule:5/26/09

How can you know if the housing help you're being offered is legitimate or a scam.
Liz Crenshaw reports on how to tell the difference, And help if you need it for the DTV

Let's start with housing and the organizations that offer to help you but really want to
scam you.  These housing helpers go by many names,  mortgage rescue specialists, mortgage
modification specialists, loss mitigation specialists. But regardless of what they call
themselves, the outcome is often the same. Consumers pay for a service that never
materializes.  So the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has some tips for
homeowners who need assistance.

Be wary of anyone who calls you and offers a rescue plan. This can happen because
foreclosures are public record.  Don't pay a fee before a service is delivered.  And don't
 pay to find out if you qualify for a housing program.  To find a counselor who can help
you, go to which can help you locate a NFCC Member Agency housing

Now on to the digital TV transition and some help that's available.  The transition takes
 place on June 12 meaning if you receive TV signals via an antenna or rabbit ears, you'll
need a converter to keep your set working. If you need some help, there are some free
 clinics available. 

There's a free clinic tonight at 7pm at the Oxon Hill Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Road. 
On Thursday at 10:30am, there's a free clinic at the Hillcrest Heights Library, 2398
Iverson St. in Temple Hills, On Friday at 10:30am, at the Petworth Library in DC at
42-hundred Kansas Avenue Northwest, And on Saturday at 10:30am at the Spauldings Branch
library, on 5811 Old Silver Hill Rd. in District Heights, Maryland.  You have to be ready
for the DTV transition by June 12th or you won't be able to receive the new digital TV

And I have some hurricane help to tell you about. 

Virginia is offering a sales tax holiday on hurricane preparedness items running all this
week through Sunday.  The tax free holiday covers 22 different items such as batteries,
flashlights, bottled water and generators and all are exempt from the 5-percent state and
local sales tax.  In the past 6 years, Virginia reported 49 fatalities and more than
2-billion dollars in damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, so there's no time
like the present to prepare.

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