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Could it Happen to You?

Our 88 year old client was approached by 3 door – to – door salespeople about applying a special, “environmentally friendly” exterior paint to her home.  Our client explained that she had just had her home painted but they wouldn’t leave until she agreed to the work.  Feeling pressured, she signed some papers to get these 3 strangers out of her home. The men told her PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing would take care of it and help her out.  The contract price was over $28,000, adding $2,800 to her property tax bill for 20 years. Could she afford it? No!  Did she understand how PACE financing works?  No! Maybe it could happen to you.  To protect yourself, don’t open the door to people who just show up. Talk “through the door” before opening it because once you let them in, it can be very hard to get them out.   If you are a senior and have questions about a home improvement contract, call us for free...

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Are You An Older Adult Homeowner?

In San Diego and Imperial Counties, sales people are going door-to-door, talking to homeowners about lowering their electric bills.  They want to sell products such as solar panels, insulating exterior paint, new windows, artificial turf other products.  They are targeting older homeowners who might have lots of equity in their homes. As part of their sales pitch, these people are lying, telling homeowners there is a “free” government sponsored program, or that there is special financing with great rates and no payments for one year. They sometimes ask the homeowner to “sign” on the sales person’s phone or portable laptop. In reality, these products are not free and often overpriced.  The “special financing” is through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which adds the cost of these products onto your property tax bill for years.  If you don’t pay the full tax bill, you can face foreclosure. To be safe, don’t open your door to these sales people and hang up when they call. You need your home...

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Danger for Homeowners: Door-to-Door Sales

It seems like a good deal – new paint for your home that will give you huge savings on your electric bill; solar panels which are practically free; replacement windows that are as energy efficient as they are beautiful.  Special financing for seniors.  Who could pass it up? If you fall for it, there is a good chance you could end up with a huge increase on your property tax bill.  That ‘special financing’ gets put on your county property taxes and has administrative costs, fees and interest.  It comes with a big risk if you can’t afford these new assessments on your tax bill.  You could have trouble refinancing or selling your home, and can even face foreclosure. Most salespeople are good at what they do.  Our capable, careful clients have been duped by door-to-door sales pitches.  If you are asked to initial something or sign a bid, your initials or signature can be used to electronically sign documents you never reviewed, with terms you would never accept....

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Fake Calls About Your SSN

December 12, 2018 by Jennifer Leach Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC The FTC is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money. In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. And he will ask you to confirm your Social Security number. In other variations, he says that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. Or he might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that he’ll tell you how to keep...

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From Our Executive Director’s Desk

Scammers who target seniors were very active in 2018.  Most of these scams have been around for many years.  Why?  Because they work and the scammers get away with it.  Here are some to watch out for in 2019, along with my best tip: HANG UP before they can get to your money! Your phone rings… You won the lottery! HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! Your grandchild is in trouble and needs you to wire money or get a gift card. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! You qualify for free home improvements-solar, roof, windows, ‘cool wall’ paint. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! The IRS calls to say you owe back taxes. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! Medicare is calling because you need to pay for a new Medicare card. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! If you have a question about a call, a letter, or a contract, contract Elder Law & Advocacy before you open your wallet.  An attorney will advise you free of charge.  For an appointment call...

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AmazonSmile Increased Donation Rate October 29 to November 2

Dear Supporters of Elder Law & Advocacy, Please consider making your purchases at Amazon.com this week through the Amazon Smile link that benefits Elder Law & Advocacy. From now until November 2nd, we will receive a donation of 5% of the value of what you spend at Amazon.com, if you do so through the Amazon Smile link. Thank you for helping us to help seniors in our...

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