June 1, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today his office will open a Joplin site on Monday that will provide mortgage-counseling assistance to individuals, as well as monitor and investigate consumer fraud. The mobile office will be located at the Red Cross Shelter on the Missouri Southern State University campus.
Koster said Assistant Attorneys General and investigators will staff the mobile office from 8:00-6:00 Monday-Fridays, so long as the need exists for information and assistance. The Attorney General’s staff will be available to assist people who have suffered property losses associated with the Joplin catastrophe and needing help in communicating with banks in working through the crisis. Individuals can also receive the assistance through the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
“Hundreds of Joplin homeowners have lost their homes. Many have lost their jobs. The Attorney General’s Office will be there to assist them in navigating through the territory of making mortgage payments while waiting on their insurance checks or waiting for their employer to be back in business,” Koster said. “My office will use our expertise in consumer and legal issues to help our neighbors, one-on-one.”
Koster said people with questions or concerns about other consumer issues, including price gouging, identity theft, and contractor or debris-removal scams also can get personal assistance through the mobile office or the hotline. The Attorney General said his office has investigators in Joplin to monitor and investigate any allegations of scams.
“The same devastation that brought out the best in people willing to do anything they can to help, also brings out people who will prey on victims,” Koster said. “The Attorney General’s Office will be aggressive in monitoring for scams and price gouging, and in prosecuting those who engage in this illegal behavior.”