Articles Posted in Recent Consumer News

by

While this article by Belinda Luscombe in Time is on Facebook and divorce, the principal holds true for any type of litigation that you are in – understand that what you put on Facebook (or Myspace, etc) can be used against you.

Lawyers love to find inconsistencies – the idea is “If you lied about this thing over here, then you lied about this over here.”

Our advice is to never put anything on your Facebook account (or other social media) that has to do with your lawsuit and make sure your lawyer knows about your social websites.

by
Updated:

by

Here is an interesting post from Consumer Reports about the recent bankruptcy of Chrysler, a first for an American automaker in over 70 years….

Massive changes are taking place around us – now it is even more important to understand your legal rights when dealing with credit reports, debt collectors, or even car companies. If we can help you, let us know.

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

by
Updated:

by

Consumer Rights Law Blog has posted an article about an online database where consumers can find records from junk yards, insurance companies, and salvage yards about wrecked cars. The idea is to help consumers “avoid buying patched up junk cars and trucks.”

However, not all states are cooperating.

14 states are not participating while 10 more say they are “in development” but federal law requires full participation by 2010. Until then, you still can’t be sure if that great looking used car was totaled in an accident Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oregon, Washington DC or 9 other states that are not telling the truth about their records. You can see the full list above and check car records here: http://www.nmvtis.gov/

by

On page two of the FTC Report, it begins to describe the “Debt Collection Process”. First, often times creditors use “in house” or their own collection department to attempt to collect the debt. When this is unsuccessful, the creditor will charge off the account and send it to a third party collector. This can be a collection agency or a collection law firm.

Another option is to sell the debt to a debt buyer. The report contains this interesting and short summary of what debt buyers do with debts they buy:

(1) retains the entire porfolio and collects on it;

by

This continues our series on reviewing and summarizing the FTC Report issued last month about changes needed to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In our first post we addressed the purpose of the report and in this post we will look at the Executive Summary of the report that deals with the five conclusions and proposals of the FTC.

Here is the ultimate conclusion of the Federal Trade Commission – “the debt collection legal system needs to be reformed and modernized to reflect changes in consumer debt, the debt collection industry, and technology.”

There are five basic conclusions and proposals as follows:

by

Debt collection is a changing industry that is influenced by technological changes and changes in the method of debt being transferred – more and more it is by debt being sold to debt buyers. In October 2007 the FTC held a workshop to discuss these changes and how the law, particularly the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), should be amended to keep up with the numerous changes since it was enacted in 1977.

After compiling the data and sifting through the arguments, the FTC released its report last month. This document is over a 100 pages long and is packed full of interesting information for consumers, consumer lawyers, collection agencies, debt buyers, and collection attorneys. We highly recommend you read this if you have any interest in the debt collection industry. In order to help, we will release a series of blog posts related to this report summarizing and providing our commentary on it.

We trust this will be helpful to you and look forward to this new series. Dealing with abusive debt collectors is a growing problem in Alabama and the best way to protect yourself is to educate yourself on your rights. If you have any questions about debt collectors or this report, please feel free to contact us.

by

Denise Richardson has reported on the data breach at the University of Alabama:

University of Alabama campus officials sent letters out to 37,000 people whose personal information may have been stolen by computer hackers.

The school revealed Friday that in November, seventeen of their four-hundred databases were tapped by hackers. One of those computers contained lab results for people tested at the campus Medical Center. However, school officials say campus computer technicians quickly caught the hackers before they likely retrieved any confidential information.

by

You go to the hospital for an approved procedure and expect for your insurance company to pay the bills and you pay the co-pay or deductible. But what about the doctor in the operating room that is “out of plan” or not a part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan? She may only be paid 50 cents on the dollar and guess who the doctor tries to stick the other 50% to? Yep. You. Welcome to the wild world of “balance billing”.

Maria Perotin recently wrote an informative article about this practice which we recommend you read. Detailing one man’s experience, Maria writes:

As Heidelberger remembers it, no one discussed his insurer’s network in 2007, when he underwent his medical procedure.

by

Americans For Fairness In Lending has a nice list of ten items that the government needs to consider and act upon to help restore some order to the markets and to be fair to consumers.

We won’t repeat them here except to say we are particularly concerned about the horrendous practice of mandatory binding arbitration – particularly when it occurs through an amendment contained in a “bill stuffer”. Its funny how companies don’t want to be bound by mandatory arbitration (for example car dealers say its unfair for manufacturers to require binding arbitration) but these same dealers say it is absolutely fair to have mandatory binding arbitration on consumers. I know its hard to be always be consistent but come on….

Check out the article and if you agree let your elected officials know what you think and what you expect.

by
Updated:

by

This video describes (with an admitted slant) the compelling story of Lilly Ledbetter who was defeated at the U.S. Supreme Court in her attempt to gain justice for Goodyear breaking the law by paying her less than comparable male employees. This led to Congress passing a law prohibiting courts from throwing out similar cases based on when the discrimination was discovered.

Here is where the president signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

Contact Information