08/02/2012 03:24 pm ET Updated Sep 29, 2012

Don't Let Your Moving Company Hold Your Property Hostage!

We've all moved one time or another and had to hire a moving company to help. Unfortunately, not all moving companies are legitimate and scams are prevalent in shaky economic times. Thanks to a new law signed by President Obama, the Transportation Department now has the power to help victims of moving companies that are illegally holding people's property.

Beginning in October 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be able to:

a. Order moving companies to return property they are illegally holding;
b. Fine moving companies $10,000 per day;
c. Require new moving companies to pass tests on estimating and consumer protection.

Over 45 million Americans moved in 2010, some of which have probably hired a moving company. Moving can be a headache, but here are three stress relieving tips when picking a moving company:

1. Check that your moving company is state & FMCSA licensed. You can quickly search on your state and FMCSA websites.

2. Avoid movers that do not show U.S. DOT numbers and brokers that do not show Motor Carrier (MC) numbers in their advertisements.

3. Do not sign blank or incomplete documents.

If a moving company is holding your property hostage, contact/visit Move Rescue! Mayflower, United Van Lines and FMCSA run Move Rescue which is the first industry-endorsed consumer assistance service aimed at stopping disreputable and unscrupulous interstate movers.

These tips can apply to you regardless of where you move to and can be the key to saving money and mental aggravation!

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