If you have been wronged by dishonest tactics in the marketplace, you could have a consumer protection case on your hands. Consumer protection cases involve matters that range from consumer fraud to false advertising to other business scams.
Do you have a defective vehicle on your hands? If the defects have affected your car’s use, value or safety, under the California Lemon Law you can obtain either a refund or a new motor vehicle replacement. You likely have a “lemon” on your hands if your car has been taken to the dealership four or more times and repaired under the original warranty for the same defect. Your vehicle must have been under the original manufacturer’s warranty when the repairs were performed to qualify for Lemon Law relief. Additionally, your vehicle must have been purchased, registered and repaired in California under the original warranty to qualify.
The one exception to this is if you are active duty military—in this case, you can still receive relief as long as you purchased your car in the United States from a manufacturer that also sells the vehicles in California. This military exception applies to individuals that are either California residents or servicemen who were stationed in California when they purchased their vehicle.
A creditor can typically repossess your property if you acquired it through a purchase money loan (such as an auto loan). You are at risk for repossession if you have defaulted on one or more of the terms of your loan agreement. A creditor may hire a repossession agency licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) or an employee of the legal owner (such as a bank or dealership) may repossess your property.
If you are behind on payments and late fees, you can ask your lender if they are willing to work with you. Often, a lender will be willing to offer a longer grace period or lower interest rate.
A collector is not allowed to use harassing or threatening behavior, misleading statements, to tell your friends or family about your debts or to add interest or fees to your debt that the original agreement does not allow. If a collector violates these laws, you can sue for damages within one year from when the violation occurred. You can write a letter to the collector and ask them to stop. Once they receive the letter, they cannot contact you again. Or you can file for bankruptcy, in which case an automatic stay will be put into effect.
Once you file for bankruptcy, a court order prevents creditors from taking any further action against you.
The automatic stay protects you from the following:
A consumer fraud case involves being wronged by a company or individual that has entered into business with you. This can include banks, accounting firms, credit card companies, insurance companies, investment counselors, stockbrokers, insurance agents and accountants. If you believe that any of these entities have acted in their best interests and not treated you fairly and you have lost money as a result, you can take action as a result of consumer protection laws. Common consumer fraud cases can involve everything from mortgage relief scams to pyramid schemes to unauthorized billing internet services to weight loss products to home improvement services.