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More Assistance Available for Scam Victims

March 14, 1993

"Front Porch Scams" was very useful in informing the community of some basic scams and how to avoid them. However, there were several points in the story that were incorrect or in which I was misquoted.

I told the author that for services in general, don't pay more than 25% down. However, I also told her that there are specific portions of the law that protect consumers on home improvement contracts. The contractor cannot charge more than 10% down (or $1,000, whichever is less) as a down payment on the contract.

I never have, will or would tell anyone that you can't cancel a loan or home improvement contract if you are at the lender's place of business. You must cancel a loan or home improvement contract in writing and you have three business days, including Saturdays, to do so after signing the contract. Cancellation should be done through the mail, and is effective on date of mailing. Certified mail is best.

However, since some unscrupulous lenders deny receiving the written notice, I suggested that borrowers additionally hand-deliver a copy of the signed notice of cancellation to the place of business before the three days are up, and bring a reliable witness.

PATRICIA GOLDSMITH

Attorney at Law Los Angeles

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