Land a Government Job Now

From the Federal Citizen Information Center:

“President Obama’s budget projects hundreds of thousands of new job openings in government and for government contractors during his first term. How do you find and land one well suited to you?” is excerpted from a Kiplinger article by Marty Nemko who offers the interesting advice:

Especially when aiming for a government job, I reject the standard career-counselor advice to use your network to gain access to people with the power to hire you. My clients increasingly find that it’s more time-effective to search the best job Web sites regularly by keyword and zip code for on-target job openings and then craft a top-notch application for each.”

Click here to read Marty Nemko’s extremely helpful article on how to land a government job now.

FTC Alert on Federal and Postal Job Scams:

You never have to pay for information about job vacancies or employment opportunities with the U.S. government or U.S. Postal Service. But some fraudulent promoters are victimizing many Americans by selling information about federal job opportunities. These scam artists advertise in the classified sections of newspapers and offer – for a fee – to help job seekers find and apply for federal jobs. Some fraudulent companies even try to confuse consumers by using names that sound like those of federal agencies, like the “U.S. Agency for Career Advancement” or the “Postal Employment Service.”

Fraudsters may lie about the availability of federal job openings in your area. For example, the Postal Service has few vacancies for career positions, and for many of the entry-level jobs, you must take a written examination. Postal Service hiring takes place at the local level through 85 district offices. If someone tells you that postal jobs are available, check with the Postal Service to determine if hiring is taking place and if an exam is required for eligibility. The tests usually are offered every few years in any particular district because of the high volume of applicants.

Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service never charge application fees or guarantee that an applicant will be hired. If positions require a competitive examination – and many do not – hiring agencies typically offer free sample questions to consumers who sign up for the exam.

It’s deceptive for anyone to guarantee you a high score on the postal entrance examinations required for rural carrier associate, clerk, city carrier, mail handler, flat sorter machine operator, mail processor and markup clerk jobs. These exams test your general aptitude, something you can’t necessarily increase by studying. Attending workshops, studying exam techniques and taking practice questions won’t assure you of a top score on the exam – and even a top score doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be hired. You must meet other requirements, including passing a background check and a drug test. Some veterans receive hiring preferences.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management urge job seekers to avoid falling for these tip-offs to federal and postal job rip-offs:

  • Classified ads or verbal sales pitches that imply an affiliation with the federal government, guarantee high test scores or jobs or state that “no experience is necessary.”
  • Ads that offer information about “hidden” or unadvertised federal jobs.
  • Ads that refer to a toll-free phone number. Often, in these cases, an operator encourages you to buy a “valuable” booklet containing job listings, practice test questions and tips for entrance exams.
  • Toll-free numbers that direct you to other pay-per-call numbers for more information. Under federal law, any solicitations for pay-per-call numbers must contain full disclosures about cost. Also, the solicitation must make clear if there is an affiliation with the federal government. You must have a chance to hang up before you incur any charges.

If you have concerns about a company’s advertisement for employment services, contact:

  • Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or www.ftc.gov.
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service: Your local office is listed in the blue (Government) pages of your telephone directory.
  • Your state attorney general or your local Better Business Bureau.

Federal job information is available through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s USAJOBS at www.usajobs.opm.gov. Information on postal jobs is available at your local post office. In many areas, the Postal Service offers a job information hotline with current hiring announcements. Also, check the Postal Service website at www.usps.gov.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.


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FTC Begins Rulemaking to Address Unfair and Deceptive Mortgage Practices

FTC 5/29/2009 Press Release:

In an effort to better protect financially distressed homeowners, the Federal Trade Commission has initiated a rulemaking proceeding involving foreclosure rescue and loan modification services. The FTC is seeking public comment to determine whether certain practices by companies providing these services are unfair or deceptive and should be reined in by proposed rules that would set standards to protect consumers.

“Homeowners who are facing foreclosure or struggling to make mortgage payments shouldn’t have the added burden of being misled by unscrupulous businesses promising assistance that never comes,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “We deeply appreciate Senator Byron Dorgan’s and Chairman Jay Rockefeller’s efforts to give us the authority to use standard, efficient rulemaking procedures to begin this process.”

The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services rulemaking addresses the proliferation of loan modification and foreclosure rescue services in the current economy. The Commission has responded to the growth in these services with a substantial and sustained commitment to bringing law enforcement actions against those who make deceptive claims about these services to consumers in financial distress. Public comment will allow the Commission to assess whether rules would be useful in protecting consumers of these services. The FTC is particularly interested in receiving comment on the costs and benefits of prohibiting or restricting the payment of advance fees for loan modification and foreclosure rescue services. The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has a 45-day public comment period ending Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

In addition, the FTC is seeking comment on a second rulemaking, the Mortgage Acts and Practices rulemaking, which addresses activities that occur throughout the life-cycle of a mortgage loan: advertising and marketing; origination, including underwriting, loan terms, and disclosures; appraisals; and servicing. Public comment will allow the Commission to assess whether rules regarding any of these activities would be useful in protecting consumers. The FTC is particularly interested in receiving comments about mortgage servicing. The Mortgage Acts and Practices Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has a 60-day public comment period ending Thursday, July 30, 2009.

The FTC rulemaking proceeding is required by Section 626 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, which was authored by Senator Byron Dorgan. Any proposed rules would apply only to entities within the FTC’s jurisdiction under the FTC Act, which excludes banks, thrifts, and federal credit unions. The scope of any proposed rules will conform to the clarifications on the Commission’s rulemaking authority under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which President Obama signed on May 22, 2009.

Comments on the rulemaking proceedings should include either the reference “Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rulemaking, Rule No. R911003” or the reference “Mortgage Acts and Practices Rulemaking, Rule No. R911004” to facilitate organization of comments. Full instructions for submitting comments are found in the Addresses section of the Notices.

In considering the public comments received and developing rules, the Commission will consult with the Federal Reserve Board, and, where appropriate, other federal banking agencies.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180
Staff Contacts:
Laura Johnson or Evan Zullow
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3224

(ANPR Mortgage Loans)

Click here for additional information

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