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October 15. 2012 7:08PM

New Hampshire Business Newsreel

AG warns of mortgage claim scam

Borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure should avoid scammers offering help — for a fee — to file a claim under the National Mortgage Settlement. Help is available for free, the state’s attorney general says.

In March, Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced a settlement in which the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers — Bank of America, Citi, Ally/GMAC, JPMorganChase and Wells Fargo — agreed to resolve claims brought on behalf of consumers by attorneys general in 49 states, including New Hampshire. The $25 billion settlement includes an estimated $4.5 million in direct payments to New Hampshire borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, while their loans were being serviced by one of those five banks.

Last month, the national settlement administrator began mailing approximately 7,600 claim forms to New Hampshire borrowers who are eligible to file claims. The forms are simple to complete and any borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can contact the settlement administrator, toll free, at 1-866-430-8358, or call the Attorney General’s Mortgage Hotline at 1-866-522-4450. The deadline for filing a claim is Jan. 18.

A San Antonio, Texas, company called Murray LLP is advertising in New Hampshire and on the Innternet and directing consumers to its website, www.bringaclaim.com, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The website attempts to convince eligible borrowers to pay up to a 20 percent fee to submit the one-page claim form.

Consumers who believe someone is conducting a settlement related scam are asked to call contact the Attorney General’s Office.

Peanut company expands recall

(Reuters) — The New Mexico food producer linked to salmonella-tainted peanut butter has expanded its recall to include raw and roasted peanuts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

Sunland Inc has also halted production at its nut butter and peanut processing facilities, the FDA said on Saturday.

The moves came after food safety investigators looking into the tainted peanut butter inspected Sunland’s production line and found salmonella that DNA tests determined was identical to the strain that caused last month’s outbreak.

In all, 35 people in 19 states have been infected with salmonella, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an outbreak linked to peanut butter made by Sunland that was sold under a variety of names, including Trader Joe’s brand Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter with Sea Salt.

Salmonella typically causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. It can be fatal for old people, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

A full list of the products Sunland is recalling can be found at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm323824.htm.



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