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UPDATE

Translated loan docs on horizon

June 17, 2007|Diane Wedner | Times Staff Writer

A bill requiring that a translation of mortgage terms and conditions be provided in five languages other than English to borrowers who negotiate the loans in one of those languages cleared the California Assembly earlier this month.

The measure, AB 512, requires all mortgage originators to provide a summary statement of the crucial loan terms in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean. It also stipulates that regulators develop and translate standard forms for the use of mortgage originators. The final, legal copy of the loan documents will be in English.

The bill was sponsored by Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) and Latino Legislative Caucus Chairman Joe Coto (D-San Jose) and passed 47 to 29. It has been sent to the Senate.

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Screen movers before van arrives

As if moving weren't stressful enough, Americans need to be on guard against mover fraud.

About 10,000 cases of various types of mover fraud have been reported nationwide since 2002, according to MoveRescue, a company that offers consumers pre-moving tips and assistance to those who believe they've been scammed by a moving company. Common complaints include late delivery, loss and damage, and companies that offer low estimates, then hold shipments hostage until higher payments are made.

MoveRescue, at moverescue.com, has several recommendations for avoiding mover fraud:

* Find out the full company and "doing business as" names, how many years it has been in business, the addresses and phone numbers, website addresses and Department of Transportation (DOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) license numbers.

* Using the DOT and MC numbers, visit safersys.org to check on the company's safety record, licensing and other information.

* Schedule at least two on-site estimates; they should be provided at no cost. Reputable movers do not offer estimates by phone.

* Be wary of low-ball price quotes.

* Movers are legally required to provide a copy of "Your Rights and Responsibilities," which explains rules governing moving companies and the rights of consumers. Make sure the mover supplies this.

More online information is available at moving.org and movingscam.com.

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diane.wedner@latimes.com

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