Columbus Consumer Law Attorney
The marketplace might seem like a jungle where businesses are the predators and consumers are the prey, but many Ohio state and federal laws have been enacted to tame that jungle and protect consumers from deceptive and predatory sales tactics. At Kohl & Cook, we use these laws every day to help consumers fight back when they’ve been taken advantage of, harassed or deceived. Learn more below about some of the many consumer protection laws available, and call our experienced Columbus consumer law attorneys for a free consultation and immediate help.
- Consumer Claims
- FCRA Claims/Credit Repair
- FDCPA Claims/Creditor Harassment
- Home Sales Solicitation Act
- Lemon Law
- Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act
- TCPA Claims
FDCPA Claims/Creditor Harassment
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) offers protection from bill collectors engaging in unfair debt collection practices and provides you with the means to file a lawsuit against them and recover money damages for the harm they have caused. The FDCPA contains a long list of prohibited activities that debt collectors are not allowed to engage in, including calling you during certain hours, contacting you at work, telling your relatives or neighbors about a debt they say you owe, using obscene or profane language, threatening violence, doing things to annoy or harass you, and much more. An FDCPA claim helps you stop creditor harassment and makes them pay for the harm they caused, including $1,000 for every time they violate the law.
Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA)
Ohio has dozens of laws aimed at protecting consumers, but the CSPA is one of the most robust and comprehensive. The CSPA sets out what kinds of business practices are illegal, says what companies can and can’t claim in their advertisements, and provides remedies to consumers harmed by violations of the law. The CSPA includes a long list of prohibited activities, including bait-and-switch advertisements, passing off used goods as new, misrepresenting a salesperson’s authority, and many more. The law allows affected consumers to rescind the transaction or sue to recover the economic harm they suffered plus an additional $5,000 for their emotional harm and inconvenience.
FCRA Claims/Credit Repair
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you rights regarding information given to credit reporting agencies by creditors and collection agencies. Before a covered entity can report negative information to a credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), and after they do so as well, they must notify you about the information being reported. If you find their information is not right or can’t be verified, they have 30 days to fix their mistake or take down the wrong information. You are entitled to see your credit file and limit access to it, and if you get turned down for credit, you are entitled to know why. Like with the FDCPA, you can sue for violations and recover your actual damages or statutory damages of $1,000 per violation. Punitive damages are available in cases of willful non-compliance as well.
You wouldn’t know it from the volume of spam calls, robocalls, solicitations and outright illegal scams you probably receive every day, but Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) over 30 years ago to end this scourge. The TCPA restricts the activities of telemarketers who don’t have an established business relationship with you or who don’t have your permission to call you, and if you put your number on the do-not-call registry, you shouldn’t be getting any unwanted calls. The TCPA gives you the right to sue for violations of the law and recover as much as $1,500 per wrongful phone call.
Lemon Law Claims
If you purchased a new vehicle and encountered problems covered under the car’s warranty during the first year or the first 18,000 miles that substantially impaired the vehicle’s safety, use or value, you should be covered under Ohio’s lemon law. If the dealer or manufacturer can’t fix the problem after a reasonable number of attempts (which might just be one attempt if the defect is serious), then you could be entitled to a refund or replacement of your vehicle. Our Ohio lemon law attorneys can represent you in arbitration or civil court to protect and enforce your rights under the Ohio lemon law.
Home Sales Solicitation Act Claims
Door-to-door salespeople are known for their high-pressure sales tactics, and the most unscrupulous will take advantage of the elderly or developmentally disabled to dupe them into contracts and purchases of goods or services they don’t want, don’t need, or can’t afford. The Ohio Home Sales Solicitation Act puts many protections in place for consumers in these situations, including a requirement that sellers provide a written agreement and written notice of the consumer’s right to cancel the transaction within three days. If canceled, buyers are entitled to a prompt refund of the purchase price. If you believe you or a loved one has been victimized by an unfair home sale or at a fair booth or other place outside the seller’s normal place of business, we can determine whether the Home Sales Solicitation Act applies to the transaction and help you enforce your rights under the law.
Don’t Go Bankrupt Over Debt, Get Consumer Protection
People are sometimes told that bankruptcy is a solution to being overwhelmed by debt. That is sometimes the case, but bankruptcy is bad for your credit, and it isn’t always necessary. If you have a valid claim under the FDCPA or some of the other laws listed above, you might have other ways to avoid bad or wrongful debts. We are consumer protection attorneys, not bankruptcy lawyers, and we won’t try to push you into bankruptcy prematurely. At Kohl & Cook, we’ll help you avoid bankruptcy wherever possible and let you know when we think it’s your best option.
Contact Kohl & Cook Today
Many consumer protection laws have fee-shifting provisions that force the bad actor to pay for your attorney’s fees, so it won’t cost you anything to hire us to represent you, and you get to keep the full value of any monetary award. Let us be your champions and fight for justice for you when you’ve been wronged. Call our experienced Columbus consumer law attorneys today.