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Are Your College Loans Eligible for Cancellation?

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For millions of Americans, the issue of student loan debt is a serious problem to deal with throughout the majority of your life. However, some people have heard that their student loans may be eligible for cancellation.

Maxine writes to us at TrustDALE, “Dale, I need help with my student loans. I went to City College Fort Lauderdale and the University of Pheonix. Now there’s a class-action lawsuit going on. My question is are my student loans going to be canceled? Am I entitled to any settlements based on the money I’ve already paid?”

While we couldn’t find any information about class action lawsuits by City College Fort Lauderdale, the University of Pheonix did agree to a settlement in 2001. The Federal Trade Commission accused the college of deceptive advertising. According to the complaint, the University of Pheonix lured students in with commercials that falsely promised professional relationships and job opportunities with impressive companies and organizations like Microsoft, AT&T, and the American Red Cross. 

The University of Pheonix agreed to cancel $141,000,000 in student loan debt. Because of this, you may qualify if you were enrolled in the years between October 2012 and December 2016. It’s true that student loans are incredibly difficult to cancel, but it is definitely not impossible. 

If you don’t qualify for the settlement, the United States Department of Education offers free help for people who feel like a college defrauded or deceived them. Their website can be found at www.ed.gov. We suggest you contact the US Department of Education directly to get more information on those free programs. Likewise, we ask you to beware of companies and scammers that get you to pay for debt relief. You don’t have to pay anything to get help with your student loans.

Here’s How to Spot a Work-at-Home Scam

Work-at-Home jobs are more popular than ever. However, there are scammers that will use what sounds like a great work-at-home job opportunity to steal your money. TrustDALE explains the red flags you’ll find in any scam masquerading as a legitimate job.

Kristine asks: “Dale, do you know of any legit at-home jobs.”

While we can’t point you towards any specific jobs, what I can do is point you away from scams designed as work-at-home jobs. Job scams are a multi-million dollar business for hoaxers. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that these scams cause about $205,000,000 loss in job cons in 2021. On average, job scam victims lose about $1,991.

Red Flag Number 1: The job ad claims you can make a lot of money working from home. It claims you can make a lot of money working with little time, effort, or experience. Here at TrustDALE, we say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Red Flag Number 2: Scam jobs will also make you pay money for training and materials. No legitimate employer will ever make you pay money upfront. You should also be very skeptical about companies that send you a check, but ask you to return some of the money. That’s a fake check that will bounce when you try to put it in your bank account. However, the bank will hold you responsible.

If a company offers you a work-at-home job, we advise you to do your research. Check online reviews of what other people have to say about the company.

Red Flag Number 3: The company’s online reviews are mostly negative. 

More companies offer remote at-home jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic which means finding a job will be a lot easier. Just be smart, and trust your gut. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

TrustDALE Adds Noisy Chairs to the List of Consumer Issues We’ve Solved

A woman turned to TrustDALE for help when she heard an awful noise coming from the new recliners she bought. Patricia Dickson and her husband Nelson were in the market for the modern equivalent of a lounging chair. Stylish, sleek, and supposedly functional, she purchased these two matching leather recliners for just under $3,000. 

“We set them up and pulled the plastic off,” Patricia said. “The delivery guy showed me how to operate the chairs. We were all happy.”

But that happiness did not last for long. Patricia said: “We started to hear this squeaking noise as we started to recline the chairs.”

Patricia called the furniture store and they sent out a tech to investigate. Despite her skepticism, she gave the chair’s leather a chance to settle in. 

She said, “This is not a leather sound. It sounds like the mechanics. My sister had the same chairs, but she didn’t experience any of this.”

Instead of acknowledging that something may be defective with the chairs, the third tech guy gave her advice. He suggested to her to get some baby powder to put in between the leather, and she said she didn’t want to do that. Instead, she asked for a refund. The furniture store initially agreed but never made good on its promise. 

Patricia then decided to call TrustDALE and our investigative team contacted the business to break her a deal to get Dickson’s money back. 

Patricia says, “If anyone is listening to this, and you have no one else to call, call TrustDALE.”

Here’s a TrustDALE tip: if a company’s not going to acknowledge a problem, chances are they’re not going to fix it. Know when to cut your losses with a defective product. Secondly, take action towards getting a refund. Thirdly, don’t do business with them again.

What Happens When You Get the Wrong Windows?

Many of us know what it’s like to not get what you paid for. This story is a little different. Watch what happened to Helen Thompson after she ordered windows for her family’s home, and you’ll understand why TrustDALE got involved.

Helen Thomas wanted new windows for her family home. She says, “We wanted black windows. Our house was built in the 80s, so we wanted to update our home.” 

She hired a company she says had great online reviews. She told the salesman she wanted black windows, but the salesman had other ideas. He told her, that if she wanted to save money, she could have white windows installed and then have them painted black. That was the avenue Helen chose. After a week, she found out that painting the windows would void the warranty, despite what the salesman told her. 

Helen says that he was “saying one thing, and the corporate office was saying something totally different.” Apparently, the salesman was even offended by her questioning.

Helen says that the company did amend the contract to specify black windows. However, she says they left her in limbo for months by not returning her calls or emails. “This has been a long and tedious process.” She takes time from work during her work days to call, but the only response she gets back is a request to leave a voicemail. She spent a lot of time on this, but she wasn’t getting anywhere.

That is until TrustDale got in touch with the window company’s corporate office. Installers eventually showed up with Helen’s brand new windows six months after she ordered them. 

Helen says: “I’m glad I reached out to you all to help with this whole process. I don’t think I would have been able to have my windows today if it weren’t for TrustDALE.”

Here’s a TrustDALE tip: When you hire a company, insist on what you paid for. Don’t hesitate to hold the company to its written word, or hire one of TrustDALE’s investigative and certified partners at trustdale.com and never risk your spending again.