Consumer Protection Law and Its Legal Measures|Legal Ways to Enforce Consumer Protection Law|Enforcing the Consumer Protection Law
When sellers of goods and services take advantage of a consumer’s lack of information or bargaining power just to gain profit, like in a common, classic case when people fall behind on their bills and where debt collectors do some form of intimidation, to pressure the person concerned to pay his/her bill, these sellers are in violation and accountable of the consumer protection law. The consumer protection law is mainly enforced by government agencies, office of attorneys general, and by individuals and their class action lawsuits.
There is a long list of common and abusive practices, which can prompt to enforce the consumer protection law, and these are: when people fall behind their bills and debt collectors make intimidation efforts on the person concerned; charging of exorbitant interest rates on credit cards and other loans; hiding fees and penalties in the fine print of agreements seldom read by customers; applying payments to low-interest portions of a loan balance first; false or misleading advertising and many more. The bait and switch advertising tactics, warranty misrepresentation, defective products, forced arbitration clauses, identity theft, and other forms of harassment and fraud are also classified as violations of consumer protection laws.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), any documented harassment and intimidation can result in a statutory damage award of $1,000 for the victim, including the attorney fees and a victim of predatory lending in the real estate market can be protected by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Home Ownership and Equal Protection Act (HOEPA).
The most effective way to enforce the consumer protection law is to hire an effective and competent lawyer that specializes in consumer protection law and consumer rights to help the consumer victim in his/her predicament and exact justice for the victim by penalizing the violators with a fine, a prison sentence, if criminal sanction is required. By bringing to your newly-found lawyer the following concerns, you can have a clear idea on what course of action will your lawyer undertake, and these concerns are: will your problem by covered by a particular consumer protection law; when to proceed under federal or state law; and the period allowed to file a complaint with the proper agency and a lawsuit with the court.
The main tasks of a consumer protection attorney are: litigate federal class action and other significant claims against companies that have violated laws protecting employees and consumers from unscrupulous practices; and he represents consumers and businesses that are being subjected to aggressive collection litigation on large sums. With a lawyer to explain to you the legal procedure, it is important to know the process, because state laws might provide you recourse, however, if you proceed under a regulation by a federal agency, you might have to file a complaint in that forum before filing a lawsuit, and this is known as exhausting your administrative remedies.