State & Federal Consumer Protection
While a vast majority of businesses in the consumer marketplace conduct themselves in an upstanding and decent manner, there are always a few that choose to deal with consumers in a deceptive or unreasonably harsh manner. The area of law that governs such situations is referred to as consumer protection law, and it encompasses the powerful set of state and federal laws that protect ordinary consumers from dishonest, unscrupulous, and unfair business practices. Businesses who engage in these practices may face stiff penalties or fines, depending on the exact violation that they committ. Additionally, these laws provide individual consumers with the right to recover money damages from businesses who have acted illegally toward the individual consumers and caused them economic injury.
A few of the more common situations that these laws address are:
- Harassing telemarketers
- Dishonest and/or abusive debt collectors
- Illegal foreclosures or repossessions
- Automobile fraud (e.g. odometer fraud, warranty issues, lemon laundering)
- Deceptive lending practices
- Credit discrimination
- Commercial misrepresentations (e.g. paying for a new product but having a used one delivered)
- Pyramid or multi-level marketing scams
- False advertising
In addition to the consequences noted above, businesses who violate these consumer protection laws with respect to the elderly or disabled may be subject to enhanced penalties and may be liable to the victimized consumer for a greater amount of damages.
Identity theft fairly broad term that describes situations where a victim's personal identifying information (social security numbers, drivers' license numbers, medical history, credit card or bank account information, etc.) is obtained illegally by a party who uses the victim's information to open accounts in the victim's name, make purchases, and defraud others. These cases frequently arise in two ways: people or organizations who legitimately possess identifying information of victims (such as banks or governmental entities) may inadvertently release it to a malicious third party, or the identifying information may be obtained from the victim in a criminal manner (through computer data theft or a telephone scam).
Identity theft cases typically have two parts which give victims two opportunities for recovery. First is the disclosure of the victim's information. If the information was obtained from a person or entity who is in lawful possession of that information, that person or entity may be liable to the victim for damages caused by its negligence; if the information was obtained criminally, the person who stole or obtained the information fraudulently may be liable to the victim. The second part of an identity theft case is the use of the victim's information in an unlawful manner. Besides obtaining and possessing the victim's identity data, a perpetrator may also be liable for damages caused by the perpetrator's use of the victim's data to open accounts, make purchases, etc.
Much like a family doctor, I strive to become the go-to source for all of my current clients when they have legal needs in the future. I personally prefer to do business with people and companies that I know will be around for months and years to come.
All fees will be reasonable and disclosed to my clients upfront in a clear and understandable manner. I attempt to make legal services available to as many people as practicable by working with clients on payment plans, accepting credit cards, and charging flat fees (as opposed to hourly rates) whenever possible.
While no lawyer can ever guarantee a specific outcome in a given situation, I can assure my clients that they will receive a high-quality legal product delivered in a timely fashion.
I promise to return all communications promptly but in no event later than 24 hours after their transmission. My clients will be kept in the loop through regular case status updates from me and will receive copies of all paperwork related to their case.
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