Your BBB® would like to remind tri-state residents that some services are available free of charge, so make sure to check before writing a check! Here are a few services that you might currently be paying for, but don’t have to:
1. Property deeds
If you need a copy of your property deed, you can get one from your local court house or city hall. This shouldn’t cost more than $2 per page, so around$10 in total. Don’t fall for a letter than claims to provide the document for $80!
Usually, this letter looks very official, containing words like “national,” “U.S. government” etc. If you read the fine print, you will see that this is a private company that uses public records to make their letters seem official. Moreover, this is NOT a bill, so don’t pay any money to the sender!
2. Lower taxes
Don’t fall for a letter that promises to lower your property tax bill. The sender is a company that will do for $200 something that you can do for free: file a dispute of your company’s current assessment.
Although these may seem like official statements from your local government, the letters are issued by private companies looking to make money at your expense. You can do all this work yourself, but keep in mind that you could end up paying more on your property taxes as house market prices may have increased over time.
3. Credit repair
Sometimes, private companies charge $5000 or $100 monthly payments to do something you can do for free: contact the credit bureau and flag any irregularities in your credit report. You can receive instructions by typing “credit repair” into the search window at ftc.gov.
Another thing you can do is contact your creditors directly and offer to pay any outstanding debts if the black marks are removed. And remember: all claims promising to “remove bad debt” are false! For free or very low-cost credit counseling, you can call the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227. Also, make sure to check their website, nfcc.org for more useful tips on repairing your credit.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville!