The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 125 Number 13

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

Many credit card companies that receive a complaint from a consumer reply, “Sorry, that’s between you and the merchant.” Fortunately for consumers, that is not always the law. Two federal laws give you substantial rights against credit card companies, for wrongful conduct of merchants. The Fair Credit Billing Act allows you to dispute charges for goods never received or inaccurate amounts, and the Consumer Credit Protection Act lets you assert claims against a credit card company for goods bought in your home state of within 100 miles of your home. Next time, let the credit card company know you know your rights.  

New Proposed Regulation on Debt Collectors

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a new plan to toughen regulation of debt collectors. Under the proposed regulations, which will undergo a lengthy review process, debt collection companies will have to more fully document debt collection, make it clear how a consumer can dispute the debt, and observe state statutes of limitations that prevent them from pursuing older debts. Collectors would also be barred from trying to contact people more than six times in a week. And, after a debtor dies, the collectors would have to wait 30 days before contacting family members about paying up. The regulations are a response to the thousands of complaints the CFPB receives every month of debt collection.  Click here for more.

Your Money

A new study by the Finra Investment Education Foundation shows that Americans are more confident about their financial decisions, but seem to know less than they did since the mortgage crisis in 2009. The study is based on an online survey taken by more than 25,000 people. The study suggests that misplaced self-confidence is putting millions of people at risk. Financial literacy is important not only to ensure smart money management, but to avoid exploitation by industry professionals who may not have your best interests at heart.  Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

State court is not obligated to follow certain terms of the Federal Arbitration Act.The New Hampshire high court held that an action to compel arbitration under section 2 of the FAA could be enforced in either state or federal court, as the language of section 2 applies to any transaction in interstate commerce. Per the court, however, the state court in an action to confirm or vacate need not be bound by sections 9-11 of the FAA, because those sections specifically reference the federal courts. Thus, the state court could follow the state standards in an action to confirm or vacate. Finn v. Ballentine Partners, LLC (NH Sup Ct). Click here for more.

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