consumer lawyer

Robocalls and Junk Faxes

Robocalls and Junk Faxes

Robocalls and junk faxes are unwanted and unauthorized automated messages that are delivered to a person or company. These messages are often provided by telemarketing companies and political party campaigns. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helps enforce the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to assist people in ending unwanted phone calls, text messages, and faxes.

Telephone and fax solicitation providers must receive consent from the consumer to send messages. It is illegal for solicitation companies to send out messages and use a consumers telephone minutes or fax paper and toner without permission. The TCPA requires any company sending out a solicited message to provide the name of the company, the name of the company the call is representing, a return contact phone number, and address at which the company can be reached. Phone calls are not allowed to be made before 8 am or after 9 pm.  Companies are also required to provide consumers with a do not call or do not message option to unsubscribe from the unwanted robocalls, text messages, and junk faxes. Opting out of these unwanted message must be free and available to the consumer 24 hours a day.

Robocalls and junk faxes are not allowed to contact a consumer after unsubscribing from a message. Consumers are instructed to record the phone number or the address of the distributor to help ensure any future unwanted messages are not from the same contact. If the messages continue to be delivered from the same provider after unsubscribing, then the consumer is protected under the TCPA and can contact a consumer lawyer for assistance.

Consumers can file a complaint about an unwanted and unauthorized telephone message through the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov. The National Do Not Call Registry is provided by the Federal Trade Commission and consumers can register any number to help prevent future robocalls.

There are automated messages that do not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Messages from schools regarding delays, closings and emergencies do not violate the TCPA. Prerecorded messages and faxes regarding future medical visits and prescriptions pick ups are usually authorized by the consumer when visiting a medical professional. Flight information is also often not a violation of the TCPA.

 

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Prepaid Entertainment Contracts

Prepaid Entertainment Contracts

Laws protect consumers who sign and agree to prepaid entertainment contracts. Examples of prepaid entertainment contracts are gym memberships, dance studios, dating services, massage companies and spas, martial arts facilities, sports clubs, weight reduction centers, and other services requiring monthly payments.

Prepaid entertainment contracts have to be in writing and signed by the consumer and the servicer before the contract begins. The contract has to be under three years and the consumer cannot be charged more than ten percent of the total contract before the services are made available.  Servicers must tell consumers orally about a right to cancel the contract and must provide two printed copies of the cancellation rights along with the agreement at the signing.

Every consumer is eligible for a three day right to cancel after signing. A disclosure in bold print should verify all rights to cancel the contract. A consumer disability also justifies the right to cancel and relocation of the company facility more than 25 miles away from a previous location is also reasonable cause to cancel. It is also illegal for a company to waive the right of the consumer to cancel in the contract. Every consumer has the right to cancel.

The company cannot deny a cancellation and must stop charging a consumer after canceling. A company failing to provide a consumer with the rights to cancel in the agreement at signing can allow a consumer to cancel at any time, even years after the contract began. A consumer lawyer can provide assistance to consumers dealing with companies not following the law and struggling with canceling a membership. Consumers who sign contracts before a facility opens are protected by additional rights.

 

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Double Jeopardy in the World of Debt Collecting

Double Jeopardy in the World of Debt Collecting

Is it illegal for a debt collector to seize your paycheck if another collector already has? Troy Doucet, the firm principal here at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A., shares advice and legal knowledge regarding the issue in the article Can a Debt Collector Come After Me if My Wages Are Already Being Garnished on Credit.com.

Doucet advises that a consumer lawyer should be contacted to help you when a debt collector is trying to seize your wages for something your wages have already been seized for. You as the consumer have the right to a hearing if you are being put at a disadvantage by two sources simultaneously for the same reason. Debt collectors do not always communicate with each other so there is a possibility this could happen. If the collectors are targeting you for different debts though, your possessions could also be at risk.

Debt collection laws vary state to state. In Ohio, a debt collector cannot take your wages or possessions without suing you and being awarded the right to first. Debt collection harassment is also a difficult action for a consumer to deal with. If you feel you are being targeted for debt that is not yours, a letter sent through the mail is the proper way to end this harassment. If you send a letter and are at fault for the debt then the collector may contact you one last time to inform you that they intend to take legal action. You can access more information on doucet.law regarding how to send the letter and what to include in the letter by clicking here.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers federally from debt collectors. The FDCPA protects consumers from being contacted in the workplace and ensures a written letter is the correct way to end collection harassment. The FDCPA also helps collect damages from debt collectors at fault and helps enforce that the debt collector will cover the charges for your attorney fees in the end if the collector is found at fault.

 

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