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It’s my Civic Duty

To help make junk mail more clear and point out the scams in the universe.

Okay, not really, but every now and then I get something in the mail that’s very convincing to me and I decide to do a little research on it. This time it was a Refund Notice on my Mortgage Insurance Premium. A company in Austin was willing to assist me in determining if I was eligible for a refund on my Mortgage Insurance Premium with promises of up to $1,583.55. Now any new homeowner is going to be feeling the pains of a tight belt and this is going to sound like gold. You’ve paid countless thousands to the house so far, it’s about time it started giving back. Well, this isn’t a scam per se, but the offer to help me is. When checking on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there is a section that will tell you flat out if you have a refund coming to you, you don’t need someone to perform a service for a fee to find out if you are elligible for a refund or not. Don’t pay anyone any money for this. In fact, there’s a notification as such on the HUD web site:

Consumer Alert
Beware of people (known as “tracers”) offering to help you collect your refund for a fee. You do not need to hire someone to collect your money. You can obtain your refund directly from HUD for free. If
you feel that you’ve been misled or in some way harmed by a tracer; or
you’ve been contacted by someone asking you to become a tracer, who you believe misled or harmed you,

Let us know. We’ll check it out.
The Department has stepped up efforts to locate homeowners owed FHA premium refunds. HUD awarded Walker and Company LLP a contract to assist the FHA in finding homeowners who are owed money. The new contract will save many of the homeowners the unnecessary expense of obtaining their refund through a tracer. Additional information about this initiative can be found in the Department’s Daily Focus message of October 15, 2002.

If you’d like to see if you qualify for a refund, just go to the HUD Website and fill out a one line form, I mean, come on… its ONE LINE! People are seriously charging other people to fill out this one line. I bet they’re saying it takes a week to get the info as well. Sheesh.

Oh, BTW, you owe me $74.95 for this warning and informational service.

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