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Must Know Consumer Laws Protect Your Consumer Rights

Ten Must Know Federal Consumer Laws

The concept of “Fair Debt Collection” is about more than just the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and “little FDCPA’s” (the state co-parts to the federal law) — it is a concept that includes all laws regulating consumer laws for debt, credit and banking. This is because “debt collection” can only truly be “fair” so long as debt creation, credit granting and reporting, and debt payment are also all fair. Fortunately, there are significant state and federal debt and credit laws, regulations and statutes that protect consumers during all transactions with creditors, credit reporters and bill collectors. Knowing these laws, and your rights under these other important federal consumer protection laws, will give you leverage in any negotiation  because when any of your rights under any of these laws is violated, the tables get turned and  that business may just owe you money – money that you can take as cash, or use to reduce your balances. How? Well, that’s what you must know.

  1. The Truth In Lending Act (TILA)

    – Protects consumers by requiring meaningful disclosure of credit terms.

  2. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

    – Outlines what information debt collectors can gather on you and contains specific rules on how debt collectors can communicate with you. It is designed to protect you from illegal debt collection tactics.

  3. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

    – Promotes the accuracy and privacy of information kept and distributed by the nation’s consumer reporting companies by defining how information must be recorded, verified and safeguarded.

  4. The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)

    – Protects consumers from unfair billing practices and to provide a mechanism for addressing billing errors in “open end” credit accounts, such as credit card or charge card accounts.

  5. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

    – Prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because you get public assistance.

  6. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)

    – Protects consumers when engaging in electronic fund transfers, including direct deposits, point of sale (POS), debit cards withdrawals, ATM cards, and credit cards sales.

  7. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

    – The TCPA restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment. The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines.

  8. The Consumer Leasing Act (CLA)

    – Regulates personal property leases that exceed 4 months in duration and that are made to consumers for personal, family, or household purposes including automobiles. The statute requires that certain lease costs and terms be disclosed, imposes limitations on the size of penalties for delinquency or default and on the size of residual liabilities, and requires certain disclosures in lease advertising.

  9. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA)

    – Prohibits untrue or misleading representations and requires certain affirmative disclosures in the offering or sale of “credit repair” services. The Act bars “credit repair” companies from demanding advance payment, requires that “credit repair” contracts be in writing, and gives consumers certain contract cancellation rights.

  10. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)

    – Intended to give consumers timely disclosures of the costs to be paid in mortgage settlement transactions, and to prohibit certain practices such as kickbacks and referral fees.

Statutes and Consumer Laws Everyone Must Know to Protect Your Consumer Rights

customer_serviceThere are ten federal debt, credit and banking consumer protection laws every consumer just must know, period. They are the Truth In Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Leasing Act, the Credit Repair Organizations Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Knowing these laws, or having no cost court representation under these statutes, can help protect you from being taken advantage of by businesses large and small in your everyday consumer debt, credit and banking transactions.

For example, did you know the Electronic Fund Transfer Act must be complied with when taking your payments electronically and that you could be entitled to up to $1,000 if this law isn’t followed, or that there is a Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulating computerized “robo calls”  and providing for payment to you of $500 to $1,500 for each call that violates the law? How about the laws for granting credit (Equal Credit Opportunity Act or “ECOA”), disclosing credit terms (Truth In Lending Act or “TILA”) and reporting credit (Fair Credit Reporting Act or “FCRA”) — do you know your rights, and when they are being violated?

Laws can be complicated, but knowledge of these legal requirements, and more importantly, the ability to spot a creditor or collector’s illegal act, can make the difference between paying full balances (or more) on your debt and settling any account (late or current) for less than you owe. So make the decision to to study these laws in your “spare time”, or just hire a Debt Help Lawyer and let them go through the mountains of contracts, disclosures, statements and bills to uncover these violations that can reduce your balances or put cash in your pocket.