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New Year brings tally of worst consumer complaints in New Jersey

Now that 2011 has come to a close and 2012 is in full swing, many people are taking the time to reflect on the past year and the lessons they learned. Although most of us may think about things like hitting the gym more often or eating more veggies, a recent article from the Star-Ledger offered up a composition of consumer complaints that many New Jersey residents can learn from. The most common issues, it turns out, were rooted in economic troubles.

Consumers told tales of everything from bad business practice to problems with credit checks, and a few stories stood out. One Caldwell resident's home had been put into foreclosure by a bank, which alleged he had failed to make mortgage payments. However, he had been paying on time each month. He is still trying to modify his loans. He is not the only one facing these problems.

Another woman had troubles with two different banks that both reported her loans as delinquent, even though she was able to prove she had made payments.

Finally, a short sale went awry when a New Jersey woman hired a man she believed to be qualified to handle the transition. However, he was not licensed in real estate or law, meaning he could not legally conduct a short sale.

Fortunately, most of these people have been able to resolve their problems. However, there are a few things that can be learned from these peoples' problems that can help make 2012 go a little smoother. First, make sure you can trust the people you are working with. At a time when many homeowners across the state are struggling to keep up with mortgage payments, there are more advertisements than ever offering low rates to get you out of debt. But if it seems too good to be true, it just might be.

One practice that can help get you out of snafus with banks or other businesses is to keep detailed records of payments. And in certain situations, like a wrongful foreclosure, it may be helpful to speak with an attorney experienced in the area.

Source: NJ.com, "Bamboozled: Scams, banking problems, questionable deals topped 2011 consumer complaints," Karin Price Mueller, Jan. 2, 2012

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