When companies and manufacturers engage in abusive business practices, laws establishing consumer rights help protect individuals and empower them to fight back.1 These rights, by law, cannot be violated by companies and manufacturers and are designed to protect consumers from fraudulent, predatory, and illegal activities. To help enforce these rights, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a dedicated Bureau of Consumer Protection, whose role has been expanded over the years from primarily battling anti-competitive business practices to also protecting consumers from abusive companies. As the concept of consumer rights includes within it a wide spectrum of issues, it can be difficult for individuals to understand what rights they can assert against companies. For example, when individuals fall behind on their bills, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects them from creditors harassing them by excessively calling day and night. Other potential consumer rights may stem from the following:

  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”)
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act violations (“FACTA”)
  • Credit Repair Organizations Act violations (“CROA”)
  • Truth in Lending Act violations (“TILA”)
  • Credit Solicitations
  • Collection Letters and Practices
  • Credit Reporting Problems
  • Mortgage Fraud

Often, individuals who pursue these claims alone find that the cost and complexity of litigation can outweigh the benefits they may receive by winning. Working with experienced attorneys can better allow individuals to conserve resources or pool similar claims together and tip the balance of power away from companies and in favor of consumers. As consumer rights become more widely understood, lawsuits against abusive practices will continue to rise.