Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Greater Cleveland announced last fall the launch of the NHS Consumer Law Center – a new effort in consumer protection that will give consumers from Northeast Ohio and beyond the knowledge and confidence to pause before they spend their hard-earned dollars on a transaction that might not be in their best interest.
By means of educational materials, seminars, practical advice, and public awareness campaigns; the NHS Consumer Law Center is being created to arm the citizens of Northeast Ohio with the information that they will need to make informed, intelligent and financially-safe consumer decisions.
Consumers in today’s marketplace are at constant risk of being steered into purchasing decisions that are designed, primarily, to benefit the sellers. Despite the recent financial crisis, the risk to consumers’ long-term wealth remains high. One of the reasons is that the primary weapon for consumer protection in Ohio (the Consumer Sales Practices Act, or CSPA) continues to be diluted at a time when it should be strengthened. In addition, the proliferation of scam artists, predatory short-term lenders and a weakened economy are all conspiring to harm every consumer’s buying power.
The Better Business Bureau, which is uniquely poised to hear about the latest trends in the arena of consumer tricks and scams, understands the importance of having more help for the Consumers in our area. “NHS has created a terrific resource that can help consumers who have financial problems avoid the predatory schemes targeting them,” remarked David Weiss, President of the Greater Cleveland Better Business Bureau.
“The best answer to people who try to take advantage of Ohio consumers is for consumers to know their rights and be able to stand up to the fraudsters and hucksters,” said Jon Miller Steiger, Director of the East Central Region of the Federal Trade Commission.”We can’t all be experts in consumer law. So it’s great to have a resource like the NHS Consumer Law Center that consumers can contact for easy-to-understand explanations of how the laws protect us as consumers.”
Mark Wiseman, the Director of the new NHS Consumer Law Center remarked “This represents a new day for the Consumers of Northeast Ohio.” Wiseman – whose history of fighting for consumers includes working as the original Director of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program; as an Assistant Attorney General in Ohio’s Consumer Protection Section and as a member of the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Advisory Council – believes that the NHS Consumer Law Center “will be able to arm our citizens with the knowledge needed to make buying and borrowing choices that benefit their own households, instead of benefitting the scam artists and charlatans who are prowling our neighborhoods, disguised as legitimate businesses.”
All Consumer Law Center services are free of charge and are intended for anyone seeking information about consumer issues. Those interested can learn more by visiting www.nhsconsumerlawcenter.org or by contacting the NHS Consumer Law Center at 216-458-4663 ext. 314.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland is an organization providing free, fair and unbiased information, programs and services to the residents of Greater Cleveland and the surrounding areas of northeast Ohio to assist residents in achieving, preserving and sustaining the American dream of homeownership. NHSGC is one of the first chartered NeighborWorks® organizations, a network of over 235 organizations working in nearly 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. For more information call 216.458.HOME (4663) or visit www.nhscleveland.org.