Residents Urged to Use Caution With Unsolicited Mail


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

Oct. 12, 2007

Residents Urged to Use Caution With Unsolicited Mail

Fairfax County encourages residents who have received an unsolicited letter in the mail with a look-alike Fairfax County seal to exercise caution before taking any action.

Mortgage lenders and brokers that use the Fairfax County name and county seal to try to gain the confidence and trust of residents may be in violation of regulations supervised by the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Financial Institutions.

Homeowners who received a letter from a mortgage lender or broker that gave the false impression it was from Fairfax County, or impersonated the county seal, should file a complaint by sending a copy of the letter and envelope they received to:

State Corporation Commission
Bureau of Financial Institutions
P.O. Box 640
Richmond, VA 23218-0640
804-371-9657, TTY 711
800-552-7945 (inside Virginia only)
804-371-9416 (fax)
www.scc.virginia.gov/division/banking/complaint.htm

The Consumer Affairs Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection encourages residents to proceed with caution when they receive unsolicited letters in the mail offering cash that appear to be from a government agency. To prevent a lender from taking unfair advantage of valuable assets, residents should be alert to the following signs:

• Unsolicited letters that use similar variations or the actual name, logo, seal or forms of companies that have an established reputation, such as government agencies.
• A one–size-fits-all recommendation to homeowners to refinance to get cash out or get a home equity line of credit based on unsubstantiated claims or predictions about the housing market.
• Letters that lure you into calling before the rates, costs, terms and conditions involved are disclosed about the product or service that is being solicited.
• Home loan offers received by mail that you did not request.

Consumer Affairs advises residents to read all unsolicited mail carefully and talk to someone you trust before calling a company you have never done business with. For those in the market for a home loan, research different lenders, their rates and their complaint history with Consumer Affairs and the appropriate regulatory agency.

For more information, contact Consumer Affairs at 703-222-8435, TTY 711, or www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer.

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For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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