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CONSUMER PROTECTION SERVICES

A consumer or “Buyer” is defined as “one who buys, uses, maintains and disposes of products and/or services” and although, many may still be familiar with the doctrine of “Let the Buyer Beware” this is no longer the case with the advent of Consumer Protection law. - Source: hg.org.

 

Consumer Protection encompasses a large body of laws enacted by the government to protect consumers by regulating many of the following business transactions and practices: advertising, sales and business practices; product branding; mail fraud; sound banking and truth in lending; quality produce and meats; housing material and other product standards; and all manner of other types of consumer transactions. Some states also regulate door-to-door sales, abusive collection practices and referral and promotional sales.

 

There are various Federal Acts that address different aspects of consumer protection. The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), also referred to as the federal Truth in Lending Act, regulates the credit industry with respect to consumer rights, which includes credit card companies and credit reporting agencies, as well as loan sharks and wage garnishment. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates credit reporting agencies and those who use them. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was added to the CCPA in 1978 to abolish abusive collection practices and give consumers a means to dispute inaccurate debt information. The Fair Credit Billing Act was added to the CCPA in 1975 to deal with billing practices in credit accounts. The Magnuson-Moss Act of 1973 deals with standards for product warranties, both implied and express. And to address the growing crime of identity theft, Congress enacted the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, which was signed into law in 1998.

 

The practice of consumer protection law includes pursuing lawsuits for consumers who have been the victims of unlawful business and/or credit practices; identity theft lawsuits; and defending debt collection agencies and other companies when accused of these violations.

 

 

Knowledgeable attorney well-versed in state and federal consumer protection laws

I am experienced in helping my clients take full advantage of federal and state laws protecting consumers against these types of disreputable practices:

 

Oppressive debt collections — Bill collectors are prevented by law from using false, deceptive or misleading representations or means to obtain payments on overdue accounts. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act generally forbids harassing or annoying debtors, threatening them with arrest or litigation, making early morning or late night phone calls, contacting them at their place of business, speaking to their friends and family or contacting debtors directly once it is known they are represented by a lawyer. I know how to use the FDCPA to stop collectors from using these oppressive tactics against you and to win money damages and attorneys’ fees in your behalf.

Predatory lending — There are many and varied schemes by which disreputable lenders target vulnerable consumers, including excessive interest, hidden fees and penalties and deceptive loan-repayment structures. The federal Truth in Lending Act and Home Ownership and Equal Protection Act bar such illicit practices in general and for loans secured by liens on borrowers’ dwelling, such as purchase-money mortgages, refinances, closed-end home equity loans and open-end credit plans. These laws provide remedies that I can effectuate in your behalf, including working to prevent creditors from taking enforcement measures like foreclosure against you.

Unfair billing — I help my clients avail themselves of the federal Fair Credit Billing Act, which bars invalid billing practices such as charging the wrong amount, charging for merchandise never received, sending bills to the wrong address or failing to post payments and credits or to reverse unauthorized charges. The law also gives you the right as a borrower to dispute charges you believe to be erroneous or fraudulent, such as where you may be a victim of identity theft. I can also champion your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to review your credit score and dispute any mistakes in your credit report.

I am committed to protecting your rights as a consumer through all available remedies, including complaints to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection, which investigates fraud and deception in the sale, servicing and furnishing of goods and services, and the Fair Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which enforces federal laws dealing with unfair or deceptive consumer practices. I can also enforce your rights by bringing suit in court in appropriate circumstances.

 

Contact me today to schedule a free consultation

If you believe you have been a victim of unfair business or lending practices, you need a skilled consumer protection lawyer who can advise you of your rights and provide you with a tailored legal strategy to vindicate them.