News from the Reference Desk Category: Consumer

Back to School with Good Money Habits

It’s back-to-school time again! MPPL wants to help young patrons, in alliance with their parents, learn about good money habits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s Money as You Grow webpage has tips and activities that can help grow the money skills, habits, and attitudes of children of all ages. Money as You Grow Bookshelf materials helps parents and caregivers bring money topics to life during the time they are reading with their children. This program provides a list of books that are commonly found in libraries or bookstores for children ages four to ten. There are free downloadable reading guides for each book that help parents and caregivers explain key money ideas, and includes questions and activities that can help children understand and use the key ideas in daily life. Take a look and see what we have available!

Public Library Association and Capital One Offer Tools to Increase Financial Well-Being

The Public Library Association (PLA) and American Library Association (ALA) are working with  to bring innovative financial well-being resources to public libraries across the U.S. Through this project, PLA and ALA will help public libraries nationwide learn about Capital One’s , which teaches consumers basic mobile banking skills. Ready, Set, Bank is designed specifically for older adults, and offers numerous, unbranded videos to guide learners through every step of the process, with overviews and step-by-step tutorials to help them manage their finances online — regardless of where they bank. The curriculum is also available in Spanish, through .

Help Coming for Wrongly Inflated Tax Bills

According to an article in the July 6, 2019 Daily Herald, a “miscalculation” of the senior freeze property tax discount by the Cook County assessor’s mainframe computer artificially inflated thousands of tax bills for low-income homeowners in Wheeling Township.  The problem was isolated mainly to Wheeling Township seniors but a few errors were also discovered in other townships.

The Cook County Assessor’s office is issuing certificates of error to the affected homeowners. These bills will replace the ones issued by the Cook County treasurer’s office earlier this month. 3200 properties were reported to Wheeling Township Assessor Jerry Sadler but he also found about 100 other homeowners affected who were not on the list.

Those seniors eligible for the discount are encouraged to carefully check their bills. If you have questions, please contact the Wheeling Township Assessor’s office by telephone at 847-259-1515 or by email at taxpayerassistance@wheelingtownship.com. The assessor’s office will review your information.

Tip of the Month: Protection Against Mortgage Closing Scams

Scammers are increasingly targeting real estate professionals, seeking to compromise their email in order to monitor email correspondences with clients and identify upcoming real estate transactions. You may be impacted during the closing process as scammers send spoofed emails to home buyers – posing as the real estate agent, settlement agent, legal representative or other trusted individuals – with false instructions for wiring closing funds.  Get information about how you can avoid a mortgage phishing scam and what to do if it does happen.

May Is National Older Americans Month

Are you an older American interested in improving your financial literacy? Get informed with free tools and resources available at the CFPB’s Working with Older Adults webpage. You can also download guides for specific topics such as Reverse Mortgages and Managing Someone Else’s Money, as well as find informational blogs about related topics. Free publications—such as Money Smart for Older Adults and Understanding the Benefits of Social Security (in English and Spanish)—can be ordered here. The Administration for Community Living is the federal government agency that sponsors this observance. Get more information here.