Consumer Protection Tag

15 Feb Beware of Mortgage Deficiency Claims

In recent months, I have seen a decided increase in the number of mortgage deficiency claims. A deficiency claim, as you may know, represents the difference between the outstanding balance on a mortgage note and the fair market value of a piece of property. In Georgia, where I practice, real estate values have traditionally gone up. Thus, deficiency claims by first mortgage lenders were exceedingly rare and even claims by second mortgage holders were uncommon. Like many states, Georgia has been hit hard by the economic downturn of recent years. Home values in just about every price range have gone down and I regularly see situations where a home may be valued at only 75% or even 50% of the outstanding mortgage balance.
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03 Nov FTC Takes On FreeCreditReport.com

The FTC has taken on the folks behind freecreditreport.com, (notice I'm not linking) and those catchy, incredibly misleading commercials. You know, the slacker dude in the old car, nowhere job, or basement apartment who would be on the road to riches if only he'd checked his credit report. I know the commercials are misleading--for example, marrying someone with bad credit does NOT trash your credit--but the FTC is more concerned with the misleading nature of the web site and the service they are selling. That's right, selling, not giving away--not free at all, as a matter of fact.
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28 Feb Oregon Legislature Targets Abusive Debt Collectors

A new law aimed at stopping debt collectors who violate fair debt collection standards was proposed by the Oregon attorney general and has been passed by the state senate. Oregon Senate Bill 328 will give the Oregon Department of Justice the authority to enforce existing Oregon law prohibiting illegal debt collection practices. For many years Oregon law, specifically ORS 646.607 et seq., has prohibited the use of unconscionable tactics in the collection of consumer debts. However, the existing statute, part of the Oregon UDAP or unlawful and deceptive acts and practices laws, gives the state no enforcement authority and leaves the consumer with a private lawsuit as the only option for relief when the law is violated. The law also has a reciprocal attorney fee provision that allows the recovery attorney fees by the prevailing party, either the offended consumer or the collection agency, if they win in court.
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27 Jan NC Attorney General Roy Cooper Gives Advice To Consumers Dealing With Stores That Close

It seems that everywhere you turn, a business that you are used to shopping with is closing it's doors. Consumers may have products on order, or they might have some ongoing warranty obligations. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper issued some practical guidelines for consumers facing the closing of businesses that they are dealing with.
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