Protecting Consumer Rights - Presented By SmithMarco, P.C.
SmithMarco, P.C. is a private law firm dedicated to representing consumers and protecting their rights. Managing partners Larry Smith and David Marco have been practicing consumer protection for over 35 years combined, and have successfully defended consumers in thousands of cases. They are experienced debt collection practices act attorneys and credit report and background dispute lawyers who can ensure that your rights are protected, debt collector harassment stops, and that credit and background report errors are corrected depending on your needs.
If you feel your rights have been violated in regards to debt collection, credit report errors, background check errors, consumer fraud, or lemon laws, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case review or give us a call at 888-822-1777.
Recent Protecting Consumer Rights Blog Posts
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is the federal statute that was enacted to protect consumers from abusive collection tactics of debt collectors. Under the statute, only a debt collector can be liable for conduct that is in violation of the FDCPA. If a creditor is contacting you to collect a debt that you owe, the safety belt of the FDCPA will not protect you. However, The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the agency of the US government responsible for promoting consumer protection, wants to change creditor liability. In a recent opinion, the FTC responded to an 11th Circuit holding that a bank may be not considered a debt collector for purposes of the statute. More >
Earlier this month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the agency in charge of regulating consumer protection in the finical sector, ordered two of the largest collection agencies in the country to pay a combined penalty of $79 million for violating debtors’ rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The two collection agencies Encore Capital Group (“Encore”) and Portfolio Recovery Associates, (“Portfolio”) must pay both refunds and penalties to its debtors and cease collection efforts on debts totaling $128 million.More >
Building your credit score may seem like an impossible feat. In a world where consumers live and survive on credit, when you have none or have negative credit, buying necessities can be difficult. Using a credit card is a sure fire way to improve or damage your score, depending on how you manage it. While improving your credit score with a credit card may take a decent amount of time and effort, following these steps will ensure your success. More >
In a recent decision, In re Michael D. Schwartz and Aseneta Schwartz, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Illinois is within the Seventh Circuit), the Seventh Circuit warned debtors who plan to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection to not spend lavishly before they file, or risk that their bankruptcy case will be dismissed for cause under Section 707(a) of the Bankruptcy Code.More >
When preparing yourself for a job interview, you need to do more than just freshen up on your interviewing skills. Most employers today want to do more than just speak with you in an interview or read your resume. They want to conduct a thorough background check and take a look into your credit report and history. Reviewing your report prior to the interview to make sure it is in tip top shape is the first way to secure the job but knowing your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) will ensure the employer does not violate your rights and take advantage of your naiveté. More >
Your credit report is the stepping stone to your financial well being. Good credit or bad credit can make or break your chances at getting a mortgage, being approved for a credit card, getting an automobile and earning a favorable interest rate on a loan. What can you do to assure you have a good credit rating?... More >
When making the decision to pay off a debt after being contacted by a debt collector, some consumers opt to write several post dated checks to the collection agency so that they are relieved of the responsibility to make timely payments. What is becoming more popular in the electronic age is automated withdrawals from bank accounts or providing a debit card to the collector. Is this a good idea? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the federal statute enacted to protect consumers from abusive collection practices, will protect you in the event a collector acts outside the law, but it is not always recommended that you let the collector hold onto your payments or have that kind of access to your funds. More >
If you are aware that you are carrying debt, your stress may become heightened when a collection agency starts to contact you. The letters start coming, the phone starts ringing. But the essential question becomes, who can a debt collector contact when they are calling to collect your debt?More >
After launching an investigation against Citibank Card Serves, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), recently ordered the credit card company to repay its card holders $700 million and fined the bank $70 million as a punishment for conducting misleading and deceptive business practices. More >