Consumer Financial Protection

The Law is on Your Side

If you’re being harassed by a debt collector, having trouble getting an error on your credit report corrected, or dealing with a shady mortgage servicer, you may feel powerless. Debt collectors, credit reporting agencies and others may want you to believe that, but it isn’t true.

In fact, federal law offers a wide range of protection to consumers with regard to their financial relationships and transactions. And, many states have similar–in some cases, even expanded–protections.

Many consumer financial protection statutes contain what is known as a “fee shifting” provision. That means a company that violates the law may have to pay your attorney fees, in addition to any damages or other relief.

Key Consumer Financial Protection Laws

Some of the most significant laws protecting people like you from dishonest debt collectors and loan servicers, sloppy credit reporting agencies and other bad actors include:

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


The FDCPA is a federal law that protects consumers against deceptive practices and harassment by third-party debt collectors like collection agencies and debt buyers. The FDCPA prohibits a wide range of actions by a debt collector. Some of the most common are:
• Misrepresenting the legal status of the debt
• Continuing to attempt to collect a debt while a dispute is in progress
• Failing to advise you of your right to dispute
• Creating the false impression that documents are from a court or law enforcement
• Calling you repeatedly for purposes of harassment
• Calling you at work if your employer objects
If violations are serious, you may be entitled to money damages.

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Fair Credit Reporting Act


The FCRA requires both credit reporting agencies like TransUnion, Equifax and Experian and the creditors and debt collectors that furnish them information to investigate when you tell them something on your credit report isn’t right. But, they don’t always do their job.

That’s a problem for people who have mistakes on their credit reports as well as people who have fallen victim to fraudulent reporting or identity theft.

Inaccurate information on your credit report can hurt your chances of getting approved for credit, force you to pay higher interest rates, and in some cases even cost you a job or an apartment. A successful FCRA claim will force them to correct errors or fraudulent entries, and they may also have to pay damages.

Truth in Lending Act


TILA requires that lenders make clear disclosures to help you understand the terms of your loan and how much it will cost. The statute standardized terminology and how information is presented to make it easier for consumers to compare credit options and gave consumers a short period to back out of some types of loans. TILA is also the reason for that box on your credit card statement that tells you how long it will take to pay off your credit card balance and how much you’ll pay in interest.

The disclosure requirements aren’t a one-time obligation. For example, mortgage servicers are required to notify you if they transfer your loan, and your credit card company can’t raise your interest rate without advance notice.

TILA creates a private right of action, meaning that if your lender violates the statute you can initiate a lawsuit against them. And, if the lender initiates a foreclosure or sues to collect on the debt, you may counterclaim for TILA violations.

Find the Consumer Financial Protection Help You Need.

State Consumer Protection Laws

Some consumer financial protection issues are governed by state law, which means that your rights may differ from state to state. And, some are mixed.

For example, lemon law is typically a matter of state law. That’s the law that protects you if you purchase a car that turns out to have serious mechanical defects. In most states, lemon law only applies to new cars. But, a few states extend lemon law protection to at least some purchasers of used cars. Though the exact requirements and remedies vary from state to state, a dealer who sells a defective vehicle that is covered by the state’s lemon law will typically have to repair the vehicle, refund the buyer’s money, or replace the car.

Auto dealer fraud differs from lemon law in that it may involve a variety of factors that have nothing to do with the condition of the vehicle, such as failure to disclose fees, “bait and switch” tactics and falsely representing a used vehicle as new. Depending on the circumstances, multiple state and federal statutes may apply.

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The Bottom Line on Consumer Financial Protection

Deceptive creditors and dishonest debt collectors want you to believe they hold all the cards. They don't. State and federal laws provide a wide range of protections for consumers–protections those debt collectors and others are hoping you don’t know about. If you’ve been misled by a lender, have purchased a vehicle that turned out to be defective, have inaccurate entries on your credit report, are being harassed by a debt collector, or have fraudulent transactions on your account that your bank or credit card company won’t fix, it’s time to get help.

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Whatever your legal issue, the best first step is to make sure you have reliable information and knowledgeable guidance.

We built Resolve Law Group–America’s Consumer Law Firm–to help ensure that people like you have access to the help they need, no matter where in the country they are.

To learn more about how we may be able to help, contact us right now. Fill out the contact form on the right, or call or email us today.


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