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Best Buy Illegally Sold Recalled Products

Best Buy Illegally Sold Recalled Products

Best Buy agreed to pay a $3.8 million fine for selling 16 recalled products from 2010 to 2015.  It is illegal to sell a product after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) labels it as a recall. The attorneys at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. help protect people by enforcing regulations under the CPSC.

The CPSC protects consumers from products with unreasonable risks associated with fire, electrical, chemical and mechanical hazards. The CPSC helped reduce the rate of injury and death associated with consumer products over the last few decades.

Best Buy failed to remove recalled items from store shelves and website and did not correctly inform their employees of recalled products. The recalled products did not accurately get identified in their employee cataloging systems. Products such as dehumidifiers, household appliances, computers, kitchen appliances, and televisions are only a few types of recalled technology sold.

A list of all recalled products illegally sold by Best Buy can be found on the CPSC website by clicking here. If you purchased one of these recalled items and received an injury from using it, contact the attorneys at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. for legal help. Call us at (614)944-5219 today.

 

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Don’t Bank on Loan Modifications, A Cautionary Tale

Don’t Bank on Loan Modifications, A Cautionary Tale

Tim Neff was a homeowner and corrections officer at the now closed Mohican Juvenile Correction Facility. While attempting to restrain an inmate in 2009, he suffered a serious back injury that put him on worker’s compensation and effectively ended his career. Around this time, he and his wife applied for a loan modification with their mortgage company, Flagstar Bank, in an attempt to make their mortgage more affordable under their new circumstances.

The Neffs claimed that Flagstar made repeated assurances to them that their request would be processed. The loan modification was necessary for the Neffs to keep their house now that Tim was on worker’s compensation and making a fraction of what he made while working as a corrections officer. Throughout the next two years, the Neffs would repeatedly call Flagstar inquiring about the status of their loan modification, to which their representatives allegedly responded by stating it was processing and requesting more documents. The Neffs readily provided Flagstar any documents that they asked for, and maintained that the bank led them to believe that the much needed loan modification was just around the corner.

In contrast to this, the Neffs alleged to receiving several notices from Flagstar and their attorneys stating that their mortgage was in default, and eventually foreclosure. They claim that when they asked Flagstar about this, the company responded by again requesting more documents and assuring the Neffs that the loan modification was still being processed. According to the lawsuit, Flagstar’s representatives even went as far as to describe the foreclosure as a “formality.” When the Neffs asked Flagstar whether or not they should hire an attorney to answer the complaint, Flagstar allegedly responded by telling them it was unnecessary and that they could do everything an attorney could.

In December of 2011, the Neffs learned through their local newspaper that their house was due to be sold. Their decision to put faith in Flagstar’s alleged assurances proved to be a fatal mistake. It became apparent to them that Flagstar had made the decision to proceed with the foreclosure process, despite the assurances the Neffs claimed to have received. According to claims made by Flagstar, the company decided to reject the Neffs’ application for a loan modification in December 2010 due to their failure to provide a singular tax document. However, the Neffs maintained that they were led to believe their loan modification was still being processed until they were made aware of the sale of their property.

The Neffs immediately sought counsel upon learning of this sale, but unfortunately it came too late to stop anything. Doucet & Associates fought hard for the Neffs, going as far as the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals twice, but we were ultimately unable to prevent the foreclosure or obtain monetary justice for their horrible ordeal. This should serve as a warning to anyone dealing with a mortgage company to not take anything at face value, especially if you are concerned about foreclosure. Flagstar likely spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees rather than working out a loan modification with the Neffs, which ultimately led to the Neffs losing their home.

Time is often a critical factor, especially when it comes to foreclosure defense. If you believe foreclosure may be imminent, seek legal advice. Feel free to call our Ask a Lawyer Hotline at (614) 221-9800 if you are concerned about your mortgage.

 

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Short Sale Risks – Be Careful!

Short Sale Risks – Be Careful!

If you are in financial trouble, beware agreeing to a short sale with your lender if that means you will be contractually obligated on any deficiency between the loan and the sale price. That is, if the property sells for $80,000 and you owe $100,000, be cautious about agreeing to the sale if it means you will still need to pay the bank $20,000 (versus having it forgiven). Why?

In Ohio, if the property goes into foreclosure and is sold at auction for a $20,000 loss, the bank has two years to recoup that money from you. That is because Ohio has a two year statute of limitations on deficiency judgments. However, if you sign an agreement with the bank to pay back $20,000, the statute of limitations for contracts is 8-20 years. That means the bank will have turned a two year collection period into a much longer year one! Be careful and talk to knowledgeable counsel before entering into a short sale.

If you live in Ohio and are concerned about going forward with a short sale, call our law firm for help. Here are other things you want to do to protect yourself from longer-term liability from a short sale:

1. Make sure the contract with your selling real estate agent indicates that paying the agent a commission is not only contingent upon the short sale’s approval, but also contingent upon an approval with a “waiver of deficiency.” A waiver will enable you to avoid paying the bank back the $20,000 after the short sale is complete. Without a contingency in your agent’s agreement, you may be liable for their fees if you walk from the short sale because a waiver isn’t accepted.

2. Constantly remind your bank that going through with the short sale is contingent upon a waiver of deficiency. This will decrease the possibility that your lender will “forget” to add in a waiver when they send over the final paperwork. (However, if you think foreclosure is likely, talk to counsel about this, as insisting on a waiver may eliminate your ability to use mitigation of damages as a defense).

3. Don’t expect the short sale process to be over soon, and if you are managing it yourself, it may be wise to contact the bank every other day while you wait for your approval. In today’s short sale and banking world, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

4. Have an attorney review the final closing documents before the short sale closing, to ensure you are protected from long-term liability. Paying an attorney $600 is a lot cheaper than being on the hook for $20,000 or more.

If you need help with your Ohio short sale, call Doucet & Associates, Inc. at (614) 944-5219.

 

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Firm Sues Law Firm Kaman & Cusimano

Firm Sues Law Firm Kaman & Cusimano

Doucet & Associates, a small firm dedicated to protecting the rights of the consumer, has filed a lawsuit against Kaman & Cusimano, LLC, for violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) by selling Doucet’s client’s home without giving her the opportunity to pay back the amounts owed.

Kaman & Cusimano, LLC, represent the Coventry Manor Condominium Association. According to the lawsuit, in April of 2010, Coventry Manor filed a complaint in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to foreclosure condominium lien against Doucet’s client for past due condo fees. Coventry Manor was granted a default judgment and a decree of foreclosure.

Coventry Manor did little with the decree of foreclosure for two years until the fall of 2012, when Coventry Manor requested a legal document ordering the sale of the condo. According to the lawsuit, the condo was appraised and put in a sheriff’s auction, all without Doucet’s client’s knowledge. The condo did not sell until a year later, and for less than half of what the homeowner had originally paid for it.

A month later the homeowner learned about the sale. She retained foreclosure counsel and contacted Kaman & Cusimano to find out the payoff amount in order to redeem her home by paying the Association in full. Kama allegedly sent her a letter stating her right to redeem her home had expired three days after the sale was made — a claim the lawsuit alleges is untrue. They neglected to include a payoff quote, and the sale of the home was then confirmed by the court before the homeowner was given that final opportunity to pay off the Association dues.

Doucet’s client claims Kaman & Cusimano violated the FDCPA by falsely stating she had forfeited her right to redeem her home, as well as obstructing her rights by not including a payoff quote. She is suing for actual, emotional, statutory and other damages in addition to attorney fees and the cost of moving from her condo.

Doucet & Associates is dedicated to fighting for the rights of consumers, protecting their interests and offering legal assistance to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. If you feel that a company is taking advantage of you, the law firm welcomes your call at (614) 944-5219.

 

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Doucet Sues Company That Helps the Elderly Sell Belongings

Doucet Sues Company That Helps the Elderly Sell Belongings

Doucet & Associates Co. LPA, a small law firm dedicated to helping consumers and those facing financial difficulty, filed a federal lawsuit against the company Caring Transitions for violations Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA), breach of contract, and fraudulent misrepresentation.

Caring Transitions manages senior relocation, downsizing and estate sales. The law firm’s client, a senior citizen, contracted with Caring Transitions to liquidate thousands of her belongings — including many valuable antiques – during a time of financial distress. The lawsuit alleges the company was to move the designated items from the property to its sales location, plus clean the property while the client was out of state caring for her disabled son.

The lawsuit alleges Caring Transitions violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA), which prohibits unfair and deceptive practices in consumer sales transactions, by claiming it had sold her possessions when it had not. The lawsuit alleges that the company told the client that she was entitled to only $276.80 after selling all her goods, which she estimates to be worth in the tens of thousands of dollars.The lawsuit also alleges the company failed to provide her a receipt of items allegedly sold and charged her thousands of dollars in moving and cleaning expenses.

Despite Caring Transitions representations it had sold all of her goods, the lawsuit alleges the client began to see her items listed for sale by the company online, and realized they had not been sold as claimed. The lawsuit alleges she tried to reclaim the unsold items and was told less than 10 were available for picking up.However, once she appeared at Caring Transitions showroom, she saw and retrieved 29 items. Meanwhile, her real estate agent informed her that her home was not cleaned as promised.

Because of lack of money generated from the sale of the client’s goods, she was unable to make her mortgage payments and her property entered foreclosure. The firm’s client is seeking relief of more than $75,000 for actual damages in addition to attorney’s fees and costs, plus punitive, emotional, economic and other damages.

Doucet & Associates is dedicated to fighting for the rights of consumers, protecting their interests and offering legal assistance to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. If you need help with a company that is trying to take advantage of you or a loved one, call the firm today at (614) 944-5219.

 

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