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Consumer Protection

Consumers have rights too!

As credit markets continue to tighten and laws are passed in favor of creditors, it is ever more important that consumers know and understand their legal rights.

What should you know about your rights as a consumer?

Federal and state laws give you rights against unfair business practices such as auto fraud (Lemon Laws), credit reporting abuses, debt collection abuse, identity theft, predatory lending practices, and student loan issues. Provided under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), many of the abuses such as scare or intimidation tactics, threats of violence or arrest, and mounting illegal interest and fees to falsely inflate debts are not only illegal but severely punishable. How are consumers to fight these illegal actions? Step one is knowing your rights.

Under the FDCPA you have the right to:

  • demand that a creditor cease communication with you. You can do this by either sending a letter stating your demand to cease communications or notify the debt collector that you refuse to pay the debt. The collector may no longer communicate with you unless they are notifying you about exercising specific rights or actions.
  • be provided with a notice of your rights within five (5) days of the first communication with you.
  • demand that the creditor /debt collector prove that you owe the money they are attempting to collect. This is a process called ‘validation of debt’ and requires that the debt collector must either validate the debt to you or cease collection efforts.

There are also new consumer protections passed in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, signed into law on May 22, 2009 by President Obama. Under this new law, consumers received a host of new protections with regard to notification, terms, rates & fees, and gift cards regulations.

To learn more you can read our article Watch for Rising Credit Card Rates dated August 2009 or contact our office at
(603) 893-4300 to schedule a free consultation.

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Our practice area reaches throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The information contained here is for educational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice nor does it constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. You should consult a bankruptcy attorney for specific advice about your situation.

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