United Legal Team, LLC

What is consumer law?

Consumer laws are legal safeguards to protect the public against unfair business practices in the marketplace. Protecting consumers’ money, credit, and financial well-being, are of the utmost concern because many bad actors are relentless in their pursuit of profit, even to the point of purposefully cheating unassuming consumers out of their hard-earned money.

Most companies that violate consumer protection laws do so because they are negligent in their actions and are not careful to simply follow the law.

The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive, and unfair collection tactics. You have the right to sue a debt collector if your rights have been violated and must file within one year from the date of violation. Examples of debt collector violations include:
  1. Reporting false credit information including not reporting disputed debt as disputed.
  2. Contacting a consumer if the consumer has requested validation of the debt within the first 30 days.
  3. Attempting to collect inaccurate amounts owed.
  4. Contacting consumers at work if the collector knows that that contact is not allowed.
  5. Contacting a consumer if they are represented by an attorney.
  6. Calling continuously to harass a consumer.
  7. Calling after 9pm and before 8am.
  8. Profane language
  9. Threats of arrest or legal action that they don’t plan on taking.

If you feel your rights or the rights of a loved one have been violated, we are here to help. Call us for a free consultation.

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires accurate, complete, and fair credit reporting. The big three credit reporting agencies (CRAs) (Credit Bureaus) are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Credit Reporting Agencies have a responsibility to:

  1. Investigate disputes – of inaccurate or incomplete information within the reports that they supplied.
  2. Remove or Correct Mistakes – once notified, the CRA must remove the error in your credit report or background check if it cannot be verified within 30 days.
  3. Outdated Information Must Be Removed – negative information that is older than 7 years must be removed. Bankruptcy may be reported for up to 10 years.

Companies that report to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are called furnishers. Furnishers have a duty to

  • Perform a reasonable investigation of disputes sent to them by the CRA. Review all relevant information provided by the CRA.
  • Report the results of the investigation to the CRA.
  • If inaccurate or incomplete information is found, report those results to all other CRAs which the furnisher reports to.
  • If disputed item is inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified, the furnisher must promptly:
    • modify the information,
    • delete the information, or permannently block the reporting of the information.

CRAs and Furnishers have important responsibilities under the law that have the potential to cost consumers, jobs, loans, employment, housing, and more. If you have found errors on your credit reports or feel any of your rights under the Fair. Credit Reporting Act have been violated, we can assist. You may be entitled to damages.

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All 50 states have adopted some form of Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act (UDAP) statutes. Many of these laws prohibit lies and misrepresentations including leaving out information that creates a false impression. When businesses violate UDAP statutes they may be liable for:

  • Overcharging
  • Deception in financial transactions
  • Cheated out of money
  • Not getting what you paid for
  • Misleading by product labeling
  • Other deceptive acts or practices

If you feel that you may have experienced any of these deceptive acts, give us a call for a free case evaluation.

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For severe debt problems bankruptcy is one of the strongest consumer protection laws available. Filing bankruptcy is a powerful remedy to stop most collection actions including:

  1. Telephone calls
  2. Wage Garnishments
  3. Lawsuits (with some exceptions)
  4. Credit card debt
  5. Medical bills
  6. Personal loans and more

What bankruptcy usually can’t do is wipe away:

  1. Student loans (exceptions apply)
  2. Child Support
  3. Alimony
  4. Most tax debts (exceptions apply)
  5. Discharge liens on property

What type of bankruptcy that’s best for a consumer to file is based on numerous factors including, income, future goals, and property. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually called a “fresh start” bankruptcy. Filing a Chapter 7 is primarily for low-income filers and won’t help keep your property if behind on payments. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually called a “reorganization bankruptcy.” This bankruptcy allows the filer to repay certain debts over time, usually between 3-5 years. Both bankruptcy chapters have their advantages and disadvantages, but they offer some of the strongest consumer protections available. If you have filed bankruptcy and creditors have violated your “fresh start,” by:

  1. Reporting discharged debts as outstanding on
  2. your credit reports.
  3. Attempting to collect on discharged debts.
  4. Continuing to call and harrass you for discharged debts.

You may be entitled to damages if a creditor or collector has violated the “Automatic Stay,” or “Discharge” of your debt. Contact us for a free case evaluation if you feel your rights have been violated.

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The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) applies to “open-end” credit accounts, like credit cards, and store charge accounts. It does not cover installment accounts like car loans, personal loans, or mortgages.

Have you been billed for goods you returned or never received? Have you been overcharged for the same item? Have you paid and didn’t receive credit for the payment?

To take advantage of the law’s consumer protections, you must:

  • Write to the at the address given for “billing inquiries,” not the address for sending your payments, and include your name, address, account number, and a description of the billing error. Use our sample letter.
  • send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill with the error was mailed to you. It’s a good idea to send your letter by certified mail; ask for a return receipt so you have proof of what the creditor received. Include copies (not originals) of sales slips or other documents that support your position. Keep a copy of your dispute letter.

The creditor must acknowledge your complaint, in writing, within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved. The creditor must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days) after getting your letter.

Have you ever disputed the quality of goods or services you received? While not a “billing error” the dispute procedure doesn’t apply. The FCBA applies to these issues.

However, if you have a problem with goods or services you paid for with a credit or charge card, you can take the same legal actions against the card issuer as you can take under state law against the seller.

To take advantage of this protection, you must have made the purchase (it must be for more than $50) in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address, and make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with the seller first.

The dollar and distance limitations don’t apply if the seller also is the card issuer — or if a special business relationship exists between the seller and the card issuer. If you believe that you have experienced a violation of your rights, contacts us. You may be entitled to damages.

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Robocalls – we know you hate them. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places limits on unsolicited prerecorded telemarketing calls or texts made to your home or cell phone. Violations are $500 – $1500 per call!

Unless you give callers written consent, the TCPA states that sales callers may not do the following:

  • call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • call you if you have chosen to opt out of calls from that specific caller or if you have added your name to the Do Not Call List (see section “What You Can Do” below)
  • send unsolicited fax messages to your home or office
  • refuse to provide their name, the name of the person or organization on whose behalf they are calling, and contact information for that person or organization

Signs that a Call is an Autodialed Robocall

If you answer a call and hear only a recording or computerized voice, or no one speaks, that can signal that it is a robocall.

What You Can Do To Stop Robocalls

Add Yourself to the National Do Not Call Registry

You can also add yourself to the National Do Not Call List by visiting by calling 888-382-1222 using the phone you wish to register.

  • If you register online, you MUST follow the link in the confirmation email that will be sent to you in order to complete the process.

National Do Not Call Registry Website​

By adding yourself to this list, you prohibit telemarketers from calling you, even if they are not using autodialers or prerecorded messages. Callers should cease all calls to you within 31 days.

If you have added yourself to the list but continue to receive sales calls after 31 days have passed, you can sue for damages.

Please note: the Do Not Call List specifically prohibits sales calls. You may still receive other types of calls, such as from political or charitable entities. It also does not stop debt collectors from calling you to collect on debt.

Revoke Consent if Previously Given

The FCC has determined that you must give written consent for a caller to make robocalls to your cell phone. If you have given such consent in the past but have now changed your mind, you can send another letter revoking consent. Send this letter Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested, it will give you proof that they received it.

Opt-out of Calls from a Specific Caller

You also must have the option to opt-out of receiving future automated calls. The opt-out feature should be announced during the automated menu when you answer a call and available for you to choose throughout the call.

If you have experienced robocalls or violations of the TCPA call us for a free case evaluation.

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