sale

How to protect yourself when shopping online?

How to protect yourself when shopping online?

Considering the mass development of the internet and technology, many consumers find it convenient to do holiday shopping online. Shopping online can help save gas money, allows a consumer to easily compare prices, and can offer extra customization options for select products and services. Ohio consumers making purchases online are protected by the Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA), which is a series of regulations and rules the lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. have experience working with.

The CSPA protects consumers from misleading, unfair, and bad business practices. It makes the businesses recognize and honor all promises and warranties, and prevents them from taking advantage of consumers. In Ohio, lawsuits involving violations of the CSPA allow fee shifting. Therefore, if a business loses a lawsuit to a consumer, then the business may be required to pay all the attorney fees for the consumer.

Businesses who engage in online retailing are expected to comply with the CSPA. If a consumer purchases an item online but receives the wrong item in the mail, then the vender is required to correct the problem at no extra charge. Typically, online retailers will replace the item or refund the consumer. Details about resolving issues with online purchases are usually listed in the disclaimer or legal terms section of the order summary or receipt.

The Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule protects all orders placed over the internet and protects consumers who never receive products purchased online. This rule requires online retailers to follow the 30-day rule and ship online orders to consumers with a reasonable time period of 30 days. If the online retailer cannot fulfill the 30-day rule, the retailer must ask permission from the consumer to ship an order late or refund their order.

Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, it is also illegal for a retailer to charge a consumer for an item that may have been shipped but was never delivered. Packages can be stolen, delivered to the wrong address, or misplaced. If the online retailer refuses to refund the consumer for an order that was never delivered, then the consumer may try to contact the charge card company they used to pay. The charge card company may be willing to refund the consumers money for the troublesome transaction.

Consumers shopping online should also take precautions when buying products from foreign companies located outside the United States. Prices may not be listed in U.S. dollars and consumers may get charged with a currency exchange fee. Shipping will be more expensive and most likely take longer too. If a consumer never receives a package shipping from another country, correcting the order will be extremely difficult. Most online retailers require consumers to correct the problem in the retailers’ local court. So, if the retailer is located in Japan, you may have to go to Japan to fix the problem.

Selling products and services online is a great way for retailers to market themselves to more consumers. Retailers can also sell items online that they may not have instore. Whether the retailer is selling products in a store or online, the retailer is expected to follow the regulations of the CSPA. The consumer lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. are experts at handling lawsuits involving the CSPA and can help consumers who have been misled and bullied by businesses during a transaction. Call us today at (614) 944-5219 for a consultation.

 

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Trash Out – Lock Out

Trash Out – Lock Out

It is illegal for a mortgage company or lender to remove a borrower’s personal belongings from a property and change the locks before the foreclosure process is complete. This action is called a “trash out” or “lock out”.

In Ohio, a lender has to wait 120 days after one missed payment to send a borrower a foreclosure notice. Then the borrower has 28 days to reply to the lawsuit or face default judgment. During this time the borrower is allowed to continue living at the property.

The lender has to notify the borrower through the sheriffs office when they are required to move – which occurs when the property is sold. Usually the borrower is not required to move out during the foreclosure process until the property has been sold. The property could have been sold by the consumer, an approved short sale, or through a sheriff sale.

The property becomes a sheriff sale if the borrower loses the lawsuit or faces default judgment. The borrower may continue living on the property until after confirmation of a sale. This could be a day or a couple months depending on how long it takes for the property to sell.

After confirmation of the sale, a writ of possession is filed. At this time the lenders will notify the borrowers of a move out deadline. If the borrowers fail to move out by the deadline, then the lenders have the right to hire a trash out company to remove the remaining possessions and change the locks for the new owner.

 

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Longaberger Basket Building On Edge Of Foreclosure

Longaberger Basket Building On Edge Of Foreclosure

The iconic Longaberger basket building is reportedly behind on property taxes and facing foreclosure. If the company does not pay back about 600,000 dollars in property taxes during the upcoming weeks, officials have indicated that the old headquarters in Newark, Ohio will be referred to tax foreclosure.

The Longaberger company specializes in handcrafted baskets and was founded by Dave Longaberger in 1973. Since opening, the company has also distributed a wide variety of home items and lifestyle amenities. The Longaberger basket building was built in 1997 and is still a worldly recognized building due to its architecture and shape. Around the beginning of 2015, the company decide to relocate and combine all employees at another corporate location.

The basket building has been on the sales market for at least a year and a half now since all the employees were relocated. The building is over 175,000 square feet and has dropped its price over two million dollars since starting the sale with a 7.5 million dollar price tag. The inside is a luxurious and modern office space that does not resemble a basket, but buyers still seemed turned away to make a purchase.

The company’s tax issues began in late 2014. If taxes are not paid soon, the county can foreclose on the property and submit it to a foreclosure auction. The property might even become a sheriff sale. The basket building could end up selling at auction for a fraction of what a normal sale would bring.

 

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Door to Door Solicitations

Door to Door Solicitations

A company selling goods or services to a consumer outside the company’s regular place of business and inside a buyer’s home is considered a home solicitation sale. In Ohio, there are laws to protect consumers involved in these types of business transactions which could result in damages for buyers and penalties for a company if it fails to comply. These laws include details about information the consumer must be provided with, the right to canceling a purchase and misrepresentation.

A company must provide their business’s name and address when contracting a sale solicited in a consumers home. The contract must also include information regarding the language used to make the sale and provide a copy of the contract to the buyer. This contract should include the buyers signature, the date the agreement was made and two copies of the notice of the buyer’s right to cancel the purchase. In Ohio specifically, the buyer is granted a three day right to cancel. The seller must orally notify the buyer of their right to cancel a purchase and refund all payments within 10 business days of cancellation. Also, services may be withheld until after the cooling off period has expired.

Misrepresenting the goods or services being sold by the seller is also an important concept of the buyer’s rights. The seller must make it clear that their intention is to make a sale. There cannot give any false or misleading information including that the buyer has been specially selected to receive a bargain, won a contest, or that the product cannot be sold in stores. Declaring there is no right to cancel is also an illegal and they cannot take on the authority to negotiate the final terms of the sale.

Doucet & Associates Co. L.P.A. in Ohio helps enforce rights regarding home solicitation sales. Please contact us today if you or someone you know needs help.

 

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Defending Foreclosure: The Basics and How to Use Them

Defending Foreclosure: The Basics and How to Use Them

Receiving a court summons for foreclosure is frightening. You find yourself pondering questions you never thought you would encounter. Can you save your home? Will your credit report be affected? Where will your family live?

The bank is telling the court that it has a right under the mortgage to foreclose on you. However, keep in mind that you have rights too, and it is legal, ethical, and smart to assert all of your rights with the help of an attorney when facing foreclosure.

Efficient foreclosure defense can allow you to stay in your home while you litigate your case, and we help many of our clients to save their home. However, if you are looking at other options, we can also help you obtain a deficiency judgment waiver in the situation that you leave your home, such as in a foreclosure sale, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure agreement. We also help many clients to apply for and obtain a loan modification that reduces their principal, interest rate, and monthly payment.

Some of the defenses that experienced foreclosure defense attorneys employ to delay or dismiss foreclosures are:

Failure of Condition Precedent

The terms of the Note, Mortgage, and federal guidelines generally require specific steps the bank has to take before it can begin a foreclosure. If the bank fails to comply with the requirement to serve the homeowner with notice of default or to conduct necessary meetings with the homeowner, the court may dismiss the foreclosure.

Lack of Standing

When foreclosure proceedings begin, a lawsuit must be filed and served against you. You become the defendant, and the bank is the plaintiff. The bank must demonstrate to the courts they are the party legally entitled to foreclose on you. This is the legal concept of “standing”. You can bring the plaintiff’s standing into question as a foreclosure defense, and they must prove that they have the standing to foreclose. As the news has shown over the last several years, ownership of a mortgage can be a complicated thing with most loans being securitized, bought and sold multiple times. The bank’s errors, improper or incomplete documentation, or fraud may cause them to have a hard time proving their standing. If they can’t prove it, the lawsuit may be dismissed.

Unfair Lending Practices

If your bank has been deceptive about your loan, acted unfairly, or failed to disclose required information, you may be able to challenge foreclosure based on these bad acts. The Truth In Lending Act (TILA) requires lenders to disclose a great deal of information, including the annual percentage rate, payment schedule, and other information about the loan. Lenders who do not give borrowers the correct information TILA requires have broken this law.

 

There are many other defenses that may be raised, such as unconscionable terms, foreclosing on an active service member, and failure to properly invoke the court’s subject matter jurisdiction. But a homeowner can’t use one of these foreclosure defenses if they don’t know the defense exists or how to properly raise it. There are federal and state laws intended to protect homeowners, and those defenses can delay or dismiss foreclosure proceedings.

If you find yourself facing a bank in a foreclosure lawsuit, you know they have their attorneys working to protect the bank. Your best option is to get an attorney on your side to review everything and protect your interests. Contact Doucet & Associates to help ensure that your rights are protected.

 

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