Today’s Ask Your Government

Dear Teri,

Who do I talk to if I want to complain about my bank?

Jerry Littke

Hillsboro

Thanks for writing! I called the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions. Here’s what Commissioner Bob Entringer said:

“It depends. If it’s a state-chartered bank, it would be us. If it’s a national bank, it would be the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“A credit union is a different entity. For a state-chartered credit union, call us. If it’s a federal credit union, then the National Credit Union Administration.

“I would guess, just off the top of my head, (we get) between 10 and 20 (complaints) a year, maybe. It’s not a lot.

“They can call our general phone number, 701-328-9933. We also have a complaint form on our website at www.nd.gov/dfi/forms/index.html. At the bottom is a complaint form. They can email that to us or mail it.”

Dear Teri,

Does North Dakota have a real estate seller’s disclosure law? If so, can you tell me where to find the information? I did not purchase my home through a real estate agent (FSBO) and discovered major water damage hidden under a dropped ceiling and freshly laminated flooring. Just wondering if I have any recourse.
Terri Gerhart

Minot

Thanks for writing! I contacted the North Dakota Real Estate Commission. Here’s what Executive Director Pat Jergenson said:

“No, there is not one. It’s not mandatory. We recommend that people use one. We recommend (real estate) licensees get one from their seller. There is no law stating there has to be one.

“Civil court is what we would recommend if she had called our office. Probably small claims court, depending on the cost. Small claims court goes up to $10,000 now. I don’t know what the cost would be.”

Do you have a question for a North Dakota state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

E-mail politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck ND 58505.

Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.

Grants awarded to reduce substance abuse

The Governor’s Prevention and Advisory Council on Drugs and Alcohol awarded $100,000 to community groups to help fight underage risky behaviors.

The council launched the “Not Our Kids” campaign, which supports community efforts to prevent substance abuse. All funding goes to North Dakota communities and nonprofit organizations to help reduce substance abuse in underage children, a news release from Gov. John Hoeven’s office said.

The grants will help fund programs in four North Dakota communities:

· Northern Lights Youth Services in Hillsboro will receive $44,591 for Reality Check (North Dakota SADD) grades 4-6. The goal is to work with high school students to be good role models for younger children.

· Prairie Public Broadcasting will receive $35,000 for its High Risk High project. PBS will broadcast programs for North Dakota students in grades 6 and higher, focusing on successful local programs and remedies that can be replicated elsewhere, as well as on policies that support success.

· West Dakota Parent Family Resource Center in Dickinson will receive $19,265 for its Love and Logic program. The center serves southwestern North Dakota and will partner with parents of adolescents to prevent risky behavior development in children.

· Milnor Public School will receive $1,144 for Too Good for Drugs, a program directed at students in grades 4-6.

“Fighting drug and alcohol abuse is an ongoing battle, and it begins in our own homes and communities,” first lady Mikey Hoeven said in a statement. “The Prevention and Advisory Council can help seed the kinds of grassroots efforts that we know can make a difference.”