Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale Consumer Protection Lawyer
Stories of corporate greed are everywhere. Many times, these companies believe that they can bully consumers. Things like one-sided contracts, ineffective products, and accelerated adverse actions are all too common. Many consumers feel overwhelmed in these situations, while others simply do not know their rights.
At The People’s Advocate, we level the playing field between big companies and families like yours. It is amazing what a difference just one aggressive and experienced advocate can make. Much like schoolyard bullies, many of these companies are all talk. Once someone stands up to them, they cave in quickly. However, if your consumer dispute goes the distance, we are prepared to go to the mat for you.
For over twenty years, we have handled a wide range of consumer protection matters. Here are a few of the more common ones.
Debt Collector Harassment
In a pair of recent decisions, the United States Supreme Court substantially watered down the protections in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA is the primary law which protects Florida consumers from unscrupulous debtors and debt buyers. Because of these decisions, many of these companies are now more aggressive than ever.
However, the primary FDCPA protections are still in place. By law, debt collectors cannot do things like:
● Impersonate or imply a connection with courts or law enforcement,
● Collect debts without written authorization from the original creditor
● Use abusive language,
● Contact employers or friends without your permission,
● Using robo-calling equipment to call your cell phone, and
● Contacting you at times they know to be inconvenient.
Floridians have an additional layer of protection in the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. The FCCPA is basically a state version of the FDCPA.
Many times, we are able to resolve debt collector harassment issues with just a letter or phone call. Debt buyers know that we are more than willing to go to court to protect your rights, so we often obtain favorable settlement terms.
In 2013, Florida lawmakers converted the state to a judicial foreclosure state. Now, home foreclosures must proceed through the courts. This change gives assertive attorneys more opportunities to protect your rights in these cases.
Procedural irregularities are quite common in these cases. Many mortgage loans have been transferred multiple times. These transactions are fast and electronic, so the deed paperwork is sometimes either out of order or missing altogether. In other situations, the lender reinstates the loan but never formally terminates the foreclosure proceedings. In cases like these, the statute of limitations may expire.
We are also experienced negotiators. In many cases, the bank does not really want to foreclose. The bank just wants the money. Since both sides want the borrower to keep the house, a negotiated settlement is a real possibility. We can also advise you about foreclosure alternatives, such as a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
When a consumer buys a new car, the buyer is at the mercy of the dealer. New car dealers rarely allow independent vehicle inspections. Furthermore, even if such an inspection takes place, the mechanic can only detect flaws which are obvious at the time.
So, to protect consumers, Florida has a very strong lemon law. This law applies not only to new car sales, but also to many new vehicle leases. The manufacturer must repair or replace your vehicle if:
● The condition or defect “substantially impairs the use, value, or safety” of that vehicle,
● There have been at least three attempts to repair substantially the same problem, and
● The vehicle has been out of service for at least fifteen days.
All these things must take place within the first twenty-four months after the consumer takes delivery.
However, Florida’s lemon law is very complex. Even a slight mistake, such as sending the incorrect notice in the incorrect way, could defeat your claim. So, it is important to partner with a serious attorney who can walk you through the claims process and be there for you as a strong advocate.
Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense
Most creditors file lawsuits very quickly. If the amount is less than $10,000, they often file these actions in justice court, where many of the rules of evidence do not apply.
We respond to these lawsuits straightaway, so you do not lose important rights. Then, we serve as a strong voice for you in any pretrial hearings. During discovery, we collect facts that help your claim and search for ways to derail the plaintiff’s case. Because of our diligent efforts, we are usually able to resolve these disputes quickly and on favorable terms.
Consumer protection is our passion. For a free consultation with an experienced litigation attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, contact The People’s Advocate. We routinely handle matters in Broward County and nearby jurisdictions.