Accessibility Menu

Consumer Information Research Tips Sub

Research Tip: Free Consumer Law Forms

Feature image.

Kansas Legal Services has added legal forms to their website  which may be of help to low income persons and others dealing with credit and collection issues.  These include:

  • A letter to request no contact from a collection agency
  • A form to request verification of a debt listed on a credit report
  • Forms to request verification of credit report information


comments (0)

Research Tip: Protecting your identity

Feature image.

The Internet is filled with our personal information – from our online searches in Google, to our shopping preferences on Amazon, and the information we share through blogs, Facebook, or Twitter. Find out how your government helps to protect your online and offline identity.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Things to consider when buying a vehicle

Feature image.

When buying a vehicle, there are so many things to consider. The State of Kansas and the Federal government provide tips and guides to help you know what your rights are when purchasing a new or a used vehicle.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Tornado Safety

Feature image.

Springtime storms can spawn tornadoes that wreak havoc over large areas cutting off power, water and immediate access to medical/governmental/commercial services. Knowing the best actions to take in protecting yourself during a tornado and being prepared for possible periods of time after a disaster without basic services at hand can make a big difference in riding out the storms of spring and summer. Here are some tips on tornado safety and disaster preparedness.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Debt Collectors and Scams

Feature image.

The Kansas Attorney General wants to make people aware of a new debt collection scam.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Holiday Shopping on a Budget

Feature image.

It's easy to overspend when shopping for the holidays.  Here are 10 tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help you keep your spending within limits. 

comments (0)

Research Tip: Out of Work? How to Deal with Creditors

Feature image.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides information on your rights when it comes to fair debt collection and credit reporting practices.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Feature image.

Facing foreclosure?  Learn how to recognize a foreclosure prevention scam and who to contact if you have been the victim of such a scam.  In addition, the Federal Trade Commission provides information on where you can turn for legitimate help to avoid foreclosure.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Sorting Out "Green" Advertising Claims

Feature image.

What does "green" really mean?  The Federal Trade Commission provides information to help you understand the different terms and symbols used by advertisers. Read it now »

comments (0)

Research Tip: New Health Insurance Legislation

Feature image.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was recently passed by Congress resulted in important changes to federal law regarding health insurance. The Kansas Insurance Commissioner website provides information to help you understand the many issues surrounding this health insurance reform legislation

comments (0)

Research Tip: Debt Relief

Feature image.

Are you in debt and considering debt relief services?  Check out the Money Matters section of the Bureau of Consumer Protection website to learn the truth about debt relief services.   

comments (0)

Research Tip: Avoid Employment Scams

Feature image.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection provides tips on how to avoid employment scams as well as links to information about specific job scams. 

comments (0)

Research Tip: New Credit Card Regulations

Feature image.

The Federal Reserve has developed new credit card rules to help protect consumers.  Click the link for all the details.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Beware Census Scammers

Feature image.

It's census time! The U.S. Census Bureau has begun gathering information for the 2010 census. To protect yourself from potential scammers, use these tips from the Chief of the Kansas City Police Department

comments (0)

Research Tip: Filing a Complaint about a Company

Feature image.

Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, collects complaints about companies, business practices and identity thefts? These complaints help the FTC to detect patterns of wrong-doing and can lead to investigations and prosecutions. You can submit a complaint using the online form.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Holiday Shopping on the Internet?

Feature image.

Shopping for toys, gifts and travel deals on the internet can be convenient, but you need to beware. The Federal Trade Commission offers some tips (PDF) for determining which sites are naughty or nice. 

comments (0)

Research Tip: Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Feature image.

Find out how you can avoid identity theft - and what you can do if your identity is stolen from the Federal Trade Commission.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Manage Your Finances

Feature image.

Credit counseling agencies can help you to evaluate your personal finances, develop a budget and manage debt, but it can be difficult to distinguish legitimate, affordable counseling agencies from companies that make dubious claims and charge hidden fees. The following resources will help you to choose a reputable agency that can help you meet your financial goals:

Federal Trade Commission: Choosing a Credit Counselor
This article gives advice on what to expect from a credit counselor and explains the difference between the services offered by a credit counseling agency and those offered by debt negotiation firms, which claim that they can persuade creditors to accept reduced amount debt. 

HUD Approved Counseling Agencies
Find a list of counseling agencies that meet the quality standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD focuses on low and no-cost housing counseling services, but many of the approved firms offer affordable credit counseling as well.

comments (0)

Research Tip: How do I know if a business reputable?

Feature image.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a comprehensive resource that gives information about the reliability or reputation of a company. However, there are a couple of places you can go to see if consumers have filed complaints against a business. 

Know MO
Missouri Secretary of State
Search for individual companies that have had complaints made against them, see the number of complaints and whether or not the consumer and company were able to reach a resolution. Database includes companies outside of Missouri.

Greater Kansas City Better Business Bureau
Reliability Report Search
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) evaluates companies to ensure that they have "sound advertising, selling and customer services practices." If a company has sought and been granted voluntary accreditation with the BBB, you know that they meet BBB standards and have made a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve customer disputes. Even if a company has not sought BBB accreditation, the BBB may still provide a reliability rating that organization.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Handbook for Consumers

Feature image.

Looking for consumer information, but not sure where to start? The Consumer Action Handbook, published by the Federal Citizen Information Center, makes it easy to browse for consumer information by topic for free online. Read about your rights related to banking, credit, housing and more.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Avoid Grant Scams

Feature image.

BBB Warns Grant Companies Exploit Confusion over Stimulus Bill to Rip Off Consumers
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received hundreds of complaints about grant Web sites that claim to provide "free" advice on how to obtain government grants.

How can I recognize and avoid grant scams/fraud?
Grants.gov, a U.S. government Web site, gives tips on recognizing grant scams.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Advice on Hiring Contractors

Feature image.

In a recent issue of Best of Times, Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe explains the licensing, insurance and financial issues that you need to be aware of when hiring a contractor (PDF).

comments (0)

Research Tip: Do Not Call and Cell Phone Numbers

Feature image.

Despite a recent false circulating e-mail, the FTC Do Not Call Registry accepts both cell and home phone numbers. Get more details from the FTC. See more helpful tips on how to prevent unsolicited marketing.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Need to Improve Your Credit Score?

Feature image.

Learn how to improve your credit score or have inaccurate information removed from your report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

 

comments (0)

Research Tip: Ratings for Central Air-Conditioners and Furnaces

Feature image.

Brand ratings don't exist for central air-conditioners or furnaces because variables such as home size, climate and insulation make it to difficult to produce reliable ratings for these products. But there are sources that can provide help...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Are the Cash and Securities in a Brokerage Account Protected?

Feature image.

Deposits at FDIC insured banks are protected if the bank collapses. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) offers similar protection...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Product Recalls and More from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Feature image.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the government organization responsible for consumer product safety. Go to the CPSC Web site to learn about product recalls and remedies or to report an unsafe product.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Check Up on Your Bank

Feature image.

Recent bank failures have prompted interest in the FDIC's list of problem banks. You can't find out if your bank is on the list because...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Looking for a Broker?

Feature image.

Check up on brokers with FINRA BrokerCheck and ConsumerSearch.com...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Pricing Final Arrangements

Feature image.

A recent report (PDF), created by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City, makes it easy for consumers to compare the prices of individual funeral homes in the Kansas City area.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Government Information for Consumers

Feature image.

The U.S. government makes available online a substantial amount of information to educate consumers. Now that Google has created an advanced search option that lets you search only government Web sites, it's easier than ever to answer questions about products and services.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Learn How to Be a Better Investor

Feature image.

Interested in learning how to become a better investor? The Kansas City chapter of Better Investing, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to investment education in the United States, is having its 25th annual Investors Fair on Monday, April 26. The cost to attend is $45 for BetterInvesting members and $50 for nonmembers.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Facing Foreclosure? Find a Housing Counselor.

Feature image.

Find a local Housing and Credit Counselor at The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Web site. NFCC Housing Counseling Agencies are nonprofit organizations that offer free and low-cost confidential services.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Digital Transition is Coming. Are You Ready?

Feature image.

Analog broadcasting ends on February 17, 2009.  Learn what you need to do in preparation for the transition to digital broadcasting from the FCC at www.dtv.gov.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Calculate the Cost of Owning a Mutual Fund

Feature image.

Mutual fund operating and sales expenses can add up over time. The FINRA Mutual Fund Expense Analyzer lets you calculate the expenses you will pay to own a particular fund, according to the amount you invest, the percentage of returns and the number of years you hold the fund.

comments (0)

Research Tip: Lead-free Toys

Feature image.

U.S. companies have been recalling toys manufactured in China due to violation of lead paint standards. Find out if a product has been recalled from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Find toys that are manufactured in the United States...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Protecting Your Savings

Feature image.

Are your bank deposits are FDIC-insured? Find out if an institution is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation at FDIC Bank Find...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Why Don’t Telemarketers Call Cell Phones?

Feature image.

You can have your cell phone number added to the National Do Not Call Registry, but it’s not necessary...

comments (0)

Research Tip: Credit Reports & Credit Scores

Feature image.

You probably know that you’re entitled to a free credit report by law, but did you know that AnnualCreditReport.com is the only Web site authorized to provide free credit reports under the legally mandated free credit report program?

comments (0)
XML RSS. e-mail this print this was this useful? view all resources

Click here to sign in or register.