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Minnesota Consumer Rights Blog

Recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act

As an employee or job seeker, you may be concerned about the type of information that future employers can find out about you from the use of background checks. While it is possible for employers to be able to access such information, there are laws in place to limit how and when third parties can access this type of information about you.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a law that protects employees from having their personal information exposed without their permission. In recent years, there have been amendments to this act, and it is important for you to also know about what these amendments mean for you.

The law on deceptive trade practice in Minnesota

As a consumer, you are subject to a large amount of information distributed by traders every day. This is true for when you drive past billboards, walk into a store and view certain deals, and get advice from car dealerships, for example. While most of this information is trustworthy, some companies do engage in deceptive trade practices.

Deceptive trade practice in the state of Minnesota is unlawful, and there are many protections in place for consumers who have been affected by this. If you believe that you have been affected by deceptive trade practices, it is important that you take action and stand up for your rights.

How to prevent the repossession of your home

When you lose your job or start struggling with debts, things can get out of control very quickly. When you start defaulting on your mortgage repayments, you can soon become at risk of having your home repossessed.

While home repossession can lawfully happen, there are also cases of wrongful repossession taking place; therefore, it is very important that you understand your rights to keeping your home in the state of Minnesota, and that you learn of strategies that can help you keep your home.

Those random, persistent telemarketers often break the law

Digital technology and the internet have revolutionized how people communicate and how companies do business. In many ways, modern technology benefits consumers. It is easier than ever to verify a company's claims, make purchases at your own convenience and even avoid obnoxious marketing efforts. Unfortunately, as consumer technology improves, so do the forms of technology used by scammers and telemarketers.

Chances are good that you have probably had to deal with a persistent and potentially illegal attempt to reach you by a telemarketer in recent months. There has been an explosion in companies using digital systems to mask their outgoing phone numbers.

Does my future employer have a right to my information?

When you are applying for a new job, it is quite possible that your potential employer will want to know a lot about you as a person. They will want to know your previous working experience and they may also be interested in what your interests are outside of work in order to get a picture of who you are.

In addition to this, your potential employer may also want to conduct a background check on you before deciding to hire you. This is a legal procedure in theory, however, there are many protective regulations for potential employees in regard to background checks. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) makes sure that people do not have their information exploited.

State prosecutors take aim at opioid makers for consumer fraud

Many people throughout Minnesota and the rest of the country who get caught up in the deadly grip of opioid addiction first started taking the drugs because a doctor prescribed them as pain relievers. Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin are among the opioids most commonly prescribed. Too often, when people can no longer get their prescription drugs, they move to powerful illegal drugs like heroin to feed their addiction.

Opioid overdoses are too often fatal. Prince, who died in 2016, is probably the most famous Minnesotan to fall victim to an opioid overdose. Minnesota, like the nation in general, has seen an increase in opioid-related fatalities in recent years.

How to prevent identity theft

As more of life becomes digitalized, consumers tend to store more information online. If personal information is not adequately protected, consumers can unfortunately become victim to identity theft. This can lead to very serious consequences, since fraudsters are able to cause a lot of damage, both financial and logistical, in a very short amount of time.

Therefore, if you are someone who shops online, has social media accounts and stores personal data in the cloud, it is important that you do everything you can in order to try to prevent identity theft. The following are some steps that everyone can take in order to keep themselves protected.

What rights do companies have to repossess in Minnesota?

When you are under threat of having a possession repossessed, it is likely that you feel stressed and somewhat powerless to do anything about it. If you are in a situation such as this, it is very important that you take the time to understand how the law works in the state of Minnesota and what rights you have.

Wrongful repossession is surprisingly common, and people often make successful claims when repossessors break the rules. So it is always useful to know the definition of wrongful repossession and the rights that repossessors have.

What if your background check contains errors?

In the modern world, it's nearly impossible to get work in most fields or even rent an apartment without submitting to a background check. This requirement keeps employers and property owners free from certain kinds of legal liability, but it also excludes huge portions of the population that have marks on their record.

Individuals who do have reasonably clear histories are aware that a clean background check can mean the difference between getting a good job or not, or qualifying to rent a home in a competitive housing market. When background checks come back with erroneous information, people who would otherwise qualify for some position or opportunity may miss out in an important, harmful way.

What are creditors' rights and when do they overstep the mark?

Dealing with debt is never an easy situation to be in, and for many people, it can feel like a never-ending spiral, since interest is often accumulated on existing debts. The stress of having debts is not made easier by creditors who seem to never stop asking for their money back.

While debtors are protected from debt collection abuse and harassment, it is important to note that creditors do have rights to ask for the money to be repaid. As a debtor, you should take the time to understand what type of behavior is and is not ok for creditors and debt collectors to exercise.

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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