In recent years there have been many instances of consumers being defrauded and scammed by merchants, sellers, and service providers. Things have gone to such extremes that some banks had actually started charging a fee to stand in line to see the teller and were considering it some sort of ‘privilege’. To safeguard the interests of the consumer and merchants in some cases, many consumer issue laws have been passed by the federal government and most have been adopted by the different states in the US. Here are some types of consumer issues laws.
Consumer Scam Laws: Many federal and state laws exist to protect the consumer from fraud. These laws forbid illegal and unfair trade customs and also advertisements or claims made by sellers which are deceptive and do not portray the proper nature of the goods or services. Dancing studios were seen to be defrauding the elderly and naïve people by getting them to sign lifetime contracts and spending huge sums of money. Thus a consumer issue law was passed restricting any type of dancing class from getting into a contract with consumers for more than $5,000 or more than 100 hours.
Purchase and Contract Laws: Federal and state laws have been enacted to allow the consumer to get out of a contract to purchase goods or services. But these laws have certain restrictions to them. A consumer is allowed to get out of a contract or cancel any services within three days of such contract or agreement if it was with a door-to-door salesperson or someone selling goods over the phone. Your state may even have consumer issues laws which allow you to cancel your club membership, contract with a dating service, weight loss services, etc. within three days. Contracts for second mortgages or refinancing your home can also be cancelled within three days of getting into the contract. But no consumer issues law allows you to cancel a contract for a mortgage to buy a home or a contract for a new car.
Consumer Credit Laws: These types of consumer issues laws include all types of financial transactions which are due to a loan or credit services. These laws are enacted to set limits for charging interest rates to consumers for loans disbursed or for granting credit. Credit laws also prohibit unfair trade actions in giving loans as well as in the recovery of loans and debts. The consumer credit laws also regulate the fees that can be taken for delayed payments, bounced and returned checks, and also set the amounts which have to be returned to the consumer in case of early payment of loans. But once again, these kinds of consumer issues laws do not apply to mortgage loans for purchasing a home or for credit sales of cars.
Consumer Protection Agencies
These are agencies that are set up to protect the rights of consumers if they have been defrauded by any consumer scam. The offices of the consumer protection agencies in your area can also be of big help to those who want information about consumer issues laws and their rights under such laws. The role of Consumer protection agencies includes:
Providing information about consumer issues laws;
Enforcing such laws for consumer safety;
Investigating consumer fraud and financial scams;
Starting civil proceedings against people who scam consumers and prosecuting such scammers;
If you have ever been the victim of any consumer fraud or have had your rights under the consumer issues laws violated, then you can turn to the small claims court for cases involving a maximum of $5,000 in damages. If you are seeking higher damages as a consumer, then you should enlist the services of a competent consumer protection attorney who can help you to recover your money.
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