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HCC to Host Film Screening on Financial Fraud in Maryland

Filmmakers hope the documentary will both educate the public and send a message to lawmakers in Annapolis.

With a recession still gripping the economy, millions of Americans are still struggling to pay their bills. Making matters worse are scammers who target those who have fallen on hard times.

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 4, will host a screening of the documentary, Stealing Trust: Marylanders Speak Out Against Fraud, Scams and Financial Abuse.

The film features 10 stories of Marylanders who have been victims of financial scams in recent years.

The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC), a consumer rights advocacy group, produced the film. MCRC spokesman Franz Schneiderman said the documentary focuses on three areas of concern for consumers: debt settlement companies, mortgage lenders and home improvement contractors.

The MCRC advocates in Annapolis for better protection of Maryland consumers. 

Schneiderman said he hopes this film sends a message to lawmakers.

“Legislators are always asking, ‘can you show us actual constituents who were harmed by this?’” he said.

The MCRC looked through complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office, to find participants for the film, said Schneiderman.

He said there are a variety of people featured in the movie from different economic and social backgrounds. “It doesn’t just affect a certain kind of person,” he said. “Even those who have done their homework and researched the contractors or companies they’ve hired are still scammed.”

Schneiderman said he also hopes the film will help educate the public about the risks scammers pose.

“In part it’s a consumer-education tool,” he said. “It’s a way to get people together and talking about these issues.”

The film will be shown in the Kittleman Room as part of the college’s regular “Triple D” series, (Documentaries, Discussions and Desserts). A discussion on the issues raised in the film will begin following the screening and representatives from MCRC will be on hand to answer questions.

Polly October 02, 2011 at 12:02 PM
Oh boy have I ever been scammed. Bought my home where seller failed to disclose that they were in the midst of a major class action suit, involving hundreds of homes, regarding the negligent/inadequate installation involving the foundation, (the seller lost this case after years of dragging it through the courts) and failure to disclose that the massive decks on my home were built illegally, not to code and now deemed dangerous. I've tried dealing with seller & seller's attorneys to no avail and it's now in the hands of Howard County Consumer Affairs. I need to sell my home as it's become extremely diffiicult for me to maintain physically/financiall, but can't do so until the issue with the decks is resolved. This is a $20K rebuild job, that I can't afford to pay for and won't as it's not my responsibility to do so. I will not disclose any more info on such a public forum. But as a disabled person living on a limited income I was clearly duped/screwed.

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