Not many things are more frustrating than when you bring home a new purchase that you are excited about, only to find out it is defective or does not work. Maybe you were even misled into believing the product was something else than what it really is. Unfortunately, this is an all too common experience for consumers. To combat this frustrating scenario, there is consumer protection legislation in place to protect from such occurrences. If you are not aware of what these protections are, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with them.
Consumer protection laws
The Fair Credit Reporting Act: This law ensures that your personal credit information is accurate and private. This is important since there are many consumer reporting agencies. Your rights under this act include knowing what is in your file, being told if what is in your file has been used against you, receiving your credit score and the right to dispute information that may be inaccurate.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: This law is in place to protect you from how your debt may be collected. Because some debt collectors can stray into using deceptive and abusive practices, this law is in place to regulate those actions.
The Fair Credit Billing Act: This law will give you the ability to dispute or make a complaint against creditors, most likely this would be against credit card companies. You have 60 days from when you received the bill to file a dispute with the creditor. The charge needs to be more than $50 to file a dispute.
These are just a few of the laws in place to protect consumers. It is up to the Federal Trade Commission to enforce consumer protection laws and penalize any entity that violates them.
Can a lawsuit be filed be filed for a violation to consumer protection laws?
Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover any losses you sustained. When many consumers have been hurt in some way by one company, that collective may decide to be part of a class action lawsuit.
If you decide to pursue a lawsuit as a consumer, these issues generally need to be addressed:
- Does the law apply to your particular issue?
- Did the defendant engage in conduct that was against the law?
- Do you qualify as a consumer?
If the above items are met, you may be able to recover any injuries or damages associated with violations to consumer protection law. The courts may also order the defendant to stop any illegal or dangerous actions that may still be going on.