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Minnesota Consumer Rights Blog

What are Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules for texting?

Texting used to be used as an informal way for friends or family members to communicate with one another without having to get on the phone. It's increasingly being used by Vadnais Heights businesses including doctor's offices, banks, and retail stores to relay important messages, however. These entities have been forced to brush up on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to make sure that they lawfully communicate with their Minnesota customers.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, the TCPA protects consumers equally whether they receive calls or texts.

How can you get your repossessed car back?

You rely on your car to commute to work, pick up groceries and get your children to and from school. So, if you no longer have access to your vehicle, it will lead to a variety of challenges within your day-to-day life.

If you slip behind on your car payments, repossession is always a possibility. If this happens, here are some of the steps you can take to get your car back:

  • Contact your creditor: In addition to learning more about your situation, including how much money you owe, you can negotiate better terms to help you recover your vehicle. For example, your creditor may allow you to make up payments at the end of your loan.
  • Loan reinstatement: If your lender failed to provide advanced notice of repossession, you may be entitled to get your car back after a predetermined number of days, as long as you've caught up on back payments.
  • File for bankruptcy: It's not the best way to get your car back, but it's an option to consider. To recover your car, you're required to file for bankruptcy before your creditor sells the vehicle.

Examples of misleading advertising

Do you ever see ads for a product that looks too good to be true? The problem could be that the ads are misleading, selling something that the product cannot deliver.

Of course, this can look vastly different from one product to the next. To get an idea of how it works, let's take a look at a few famous examples:

  • Volkswagen marketed diesel cars as an environmentally-friendly option that produced low emissions when the reality was just that they spent years cheating on the emissions tests. The Federal Trade Commission said: "Volkswagen deceived consumers by selling or leasing more than 550,000 diesel cars based on false claims that the cars were low-emission, environmentally friendly."
  • Kellogg said that Rice Krispies could help kids have a stronger immune system since it contained"25% daily value of antioxidants and nutrients — Vitamins A, B, C and E." This made parents think it was a healthy choice for kids, like giving them vitamins. The FTC had to step in and tell them to stop that marketing campaign.
  • New Balance claimed specific shoes would burn more calories than the competition. This seemed odd, so follow-up studies were done, and they did not find that the shoes helped people burn extra calories or get in shape. New Balance had to pay out in excess of $2 million.

Your bank could wrongly foreclose on your home

There is nothing worse than the thought of losing your home to foreclosure. Not only does this put you out of your home, but it will also impact your finances for many years to come.

There are times when your bank has the right to foreclose on your home, such as if you've missed payments in the past and ignored notices.

New changes proposed to debt collection efforts

Debt collectors may soon add a new weapon to their arsenal for collecting money from consumer debtors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency tasked with protecting consumers that was founded in the wake of the country's most recent financial crisis, has proposed some new industry rules.

One proposed change is to allow debt collectors to send debtors emails and texts regarding their overdue accounts.

How can people fight repossession of property or homes?

We should only buy things we can afford, but that doesn't stop us from making some bad financial decisions. In many cases, people make all the right choices and circumstances still keep them from financial success. Although creditors often have the right to reclaim what they are owed, they must follow specific rules regarding repossession.

How does a person or company start a repossession?

Common signs of elder financial abuse

Financial exploitation of the elderly remains a major problem throughout the country, with elderly individuals and their children concerned about this. Fortunately, with the proper knowledge, it's easy to spot a scam and avoid it before it takes its toll.

Every year, financial exploitation of the elderly costs older adults nearly $3 billion. And with the number of elderly individuals on the rise, it's safe to assume that this number will increase in the years to come.

What are some of the most common types of false advertising?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), advertising is considered to be deceptive when it omits, misleads or falsely represents a product or service. This type of marketing can be presented in both written and oral forms. Since there are penalties that retailers face for engaging in false advertising, very few use this sales tactic each year. There are some deceptive techniques that they use more often than others.

One way that advertisers deceive customers is by taking ambiguous photographs or ones that capture the best parts of a product or place. They often take them from a single angle, with a certain camera lens or if only certain rooms or aspects are featured to make them look appealing. If they're taken from other vantage points, then it may look markedly different.

Fighting back against credit report errors and fraud

In the modern world, it is increasingly important to keep a close eye on your credit score. Even if you don't have perfect credit, protecting what you have makes it easier to improve your credit and avoid costly hits to your score. Unfortunately, many of us see our credit score suffer because of reporting errors or because of fraudulent acts of others.

If you recently found errors on your credit report, you have some options. The first thing to do is take a deep breath and remember that you have a number of ways to fight back against inaccurate reporting. Errors and fraud may not clear up immediately, but with some careful research and a strong legal strategy, you may be able to get errors removed.

Cleaning war: Clorox sues Lysol

You've probably seen plenty of commercials where companies take direct aim at their competition, perhaps even mentioning them by name. Even when it's not by name, they often allude to it strongly enough that it leaves no doubt in your mind what they're talking about.

Have you ever wondered if these commercials go too far? What are they actually allowed to say about another brand? If those questions have crossed your mind, you will be very interested to know that Clorox has decided to sue Lysol over a series of recent advertisements, alleging that they are false and misleading.

Get Answers To Your Questions

Contact the Consumer Justice Center. Tommy Lyons can speak with you in a free initial consultation arranged at 800-556-6752, toll free, or by email from wherever you are in the U.S.

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Consumer Justice Center P.A.
367 Commerce Court
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Toll Free: 800-556-6752
Phone: 612-200-1495
Fax: 651-704-0907
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