Previous LAConsumerNews Top Stories
See also: Consumer Affairs department news and releases
California Homeowner Bill of Rights Helps Consumers
Updated Feb. 11, 2013: These new laws, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, were designed to help homeowners going through foreclosure by making the foreclosure process more fair and transparent, protecting tenants living in foreclosed properties, cleaning up communities and giving more power to the Attorney Generalís office. Here's what you need to know. Full story
$9.3B Foreclosure Settlement Should Help Consumers
Updated Jan. 28, 2013: Eleven banks and mortgage servicers reached a settlement with Federal regulators earlier this year. Consumers who were in the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 with one of the 11 participating banks should receive a payout. Full story
Top 9 Tips: How to Handle Last-Minute Holiday Shopping
Updated Dec. 18, 2012: Itís the last few days before the big holiday and you still have plenty of shopping to do. Donít worry, youíre not alone. The busiest shopping day of the year is typically the final Saturday before Christmas. So if you still need to shop, we offer these Top 9 tips. Why 9? No time for 10. Letís go!. Full story
Be As Smart As Your Phone: 10 Tips to Avoid ID Theft
Updated Nov. 7, 2012: Using a smartphone for banking, paying bills or buying products is easy and convenient. However, without proper care you could be setting yourself up for a higher chance of identity theft. Full story
Foreclosed unfairly? A review might help you
Updated June 29, 2012: If your home was wrongfully in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 because of a bank error, you could get money through the Independent Foreclosure Review. Act now before the Sept. 30 deadline. Full story
Be wise before you book a banquet hall
Updated June 1, 2012
Protect Yourself After the Disaster
Updated Dec. 2, 2011
• If recent weather affected your property, protect it.
• Thieves prey upon those who are most vulnerable.
• Know the difference between those who help and harm.
Top 10 Tips: Holiday Shopping
Updated Dec. 1, 2011
Most of us get excited about shopping for the perfect holiday presents for our friends and loved ones. Sometimes our enthusiasm may cloud our financial judgment. These tips will help you avoid holiday shopping problems and New Year’s budget blues. more
Stay more secure
when you go online
Updated Oct. 14, 2011
It's Cyber Security Awareness Month in Los Angeles County. Here are our top 10 tips for remaining more secure when you use social media sites, email, or online shopping sites.
Saving a little bit of energy
can save you a lot of money
Updated Sept. 21, 2011
Here in Los Angeles County, hot weather is not only a summertime event. Temperatures often stay high through the fall and that means youíre likely faced with more high monthly electricity bills. But when it comes to your energy bill, there are many steps you can take save a few dollars. Here are 10 easy tips to follow. Full story
Help Victims, Don't Become One
Updated May 23, 2011
• If you donate to disaster victims, do it wisely.
• Watch out for phony charities and scams.
• Research charities before you give.
• Think before you click a link or send a text.
New CA program aims to help you keep your home
Updated April 22, 2011
Tax Refund Loans: A Costly Deal
Updated March 4, 2011
• Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) are popular.
• Quick cash is hard to resist, but you should.
• RALs are loaded with high rates and fees.
• Find out ways to avoid this expensive trap.
Avoid "mousetraps" in online dating
Updated Feb. 11, 2011
• Online dating sites are very popular.
• Internet criminals target these sites.
• Beware of ID theft, phishing, check scams.
• Learn tips to protect yourself.
Full story Zev.LACounty.gov feature
News Alert: DirecTV settles $13M lawsuit with states
Updated Dec. 15, 2010
Watch out for government look-alike letters, offers
Updated Nov. 1, 2010
Credit card laws new for 2010
Updated Aug. 22, 2010
• Creditors have new restrictions.
• It's tougher to raise your interest rates.
• Find out the parts of this complicated law.
• Learn more about other new consumer laws.
Full story More protections
"Cash For Clunkers" completed
Updated Aug. 26, 2009
• Popular U.S. program ended in August.
• Nearly 700,000 rebates worth $2.9 billion given.
• Dealers are finishing up pending deals.
Top 10 Questions: Digital TV Transition
Updated June 15, 2009
Now that Congress has set a February 17, 2009, date for the completion of the "DTV transition," what do you need to do? Here are some answers to the most common questions about the upcoming digital television transition. more
Freeze Credit to Put a Chill on ID Theft
August 20, 2008
You can help prevent identity theft by putting a security freeze on your credit file. A freeze stops the major credit reporting agencies from sharing your credit information with potential creditors. Most businesses will not open new credit without access to this information. more
Simple Steps Can Cut the Clutter
August 1, 2007
Junk mail is clogging up the mailbox. Spam is doing the same to your inbox. Telemarketers are calling all the time. Pre-approved credit-card offers are piling up. You could build a new wing to your house to hold all the junk. Better yet, you can follow a few simple tips and help keep extra clutter out of your life. more
California Car Buyer's Bill of Rights
May 1, 2007
The Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights, a law that affects the rights of consumers, went into effect July 1, 2006. The law impacts the purchase of cars handled by a licensed dealer. more
Defaulted Loans Fuel Foreclosure Frenzy
April 12, 2007
Foreclosures are on the rise in Los Angeles County. The main cause is the rise in adjustable mortgage rates for homeowners who purchased in the past two years. As recently as 2005, if someone couldn’t afford a home they could easily sell it at a profit and avoid any problems. Help is available for homeowners and taking early action can save a home. more
Fighting Elder Financial Abuse
March 12, 2007
Financial abuse of seniors is a growing problem. Some people call it “The crime of the 21st century.” The Department of Consumer Affairs is out to educate seniors before they might become victims. more
Identity Theft: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself
The Federal Trade Commission reports there were 9 million cases of identity theft last year with losses to consumers of more than $5 billion. What’s more, 80% of those victimized do not know how their identity was stolen, or who did it. For these reasons, it’s important to understand how your personal and financial information can be stolen and what you can do to protect yourself. more
Predatory Lenders On The Prowl
Predatory lending is a term used by newspapers and the media to describe abusive lending practices. Predatory lenders only offer high interest loans with lots of junk fees tacked on, even though a homeowner or homebuyer may qualify for a better loan. High interest rates and unnecessary fees raise the loan amount and make it hard for borrowers to meet their monthly payments. This puts homeowners at risk of losing their home and the money they’ve put into it. more