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May 09, 2003
Consumer Alert: Tax Advisors Not Associated With County Governments

Seattle - 5.7.03 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today warned consumers to be on the lookout for a direct mail solicitation about the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Property Tax Exemption Program that is really a preliminary pitch for a variety of financial products.

Though the mailing appears to come from local county assessors' offices, it is really from a private outfit that sells insurance, estate planning, reverse mortgages and other financial products.

The Attorney General's Consumer Protection office has received notice of the mailing from assessors' offices in Snohomish, Pierce and King counties.

The solicitations are from a business called Elder Planners of Washington, which is owned and operated by an Everett firm named Senior Loan Centre, LLC.

According to the assessors' offices, some consumers who have received the Elder Planners of Washington mailing said they incorrectly thought it came from county offices.

Consumers who respond are later called by Senior Loan Centre representatives who say they must come to consumers' homes to assess the home's value and to obtain additional information on consumers' income.

Once inside consumers' homes, these representatives try to sell a variety of financial products.

The state Insurance Commissioner's office currently is taking steps to revoke the insurance agent's license of Senior Loan Centre principal Jack Chandler for allegedly engaging in misleading sales tactics.

Gregoire warned that consumers should obtain information on the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Property Tax Exemption program directly from county assessors' offices. And she warned consumers to not let strangers into their home to make commercial pitches, but instead to request information by mail.


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