The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 143 Number 80

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

During these difficult economic times, it is easy to imagine our financial problems disappearing by winning a big prize. Who wouldn’t like to win a million dollars, a new car, or a vacation home? But if you get a call from someone saying, “You’ve won,” don’t believe the hype. Click here for more.

Retirement account balances have surged during the pandemic

Ordinary Americans with 401(k) or IRA retirement accounts have seen their wealth surge in the second quarter of 2020, with the number of retirement accounts worth at least $1 million jumping by 49 percent.

An analysis by Fidelity Investments suggests that retirement accounts benefitted from the stock market’s remarkable rebound from its late March lows, driven in large part by technology stocks. The market’s rally, in turn, was fueled by Federal Reserve action and pandemic relief legislation passed by Congress. Click here for more.

Your Money

After weeks of stalled negotiations in Congress, President Donald Trump took it upon himself to issue a series of presidential executive orders, or memorandums, designed to reinvigorate the U.S. economy. One of those executive measures includes a directive to suspend certain payroll taxes for American workers earning less than $4,000 on a pretax biweekly basis, or about $104,000 annually. Many Americans may be unfamiliar with what a payroll tax cut – technically, a deferral in this case – means for their personal financial situations. If you're still trying to parse out what a payroll tax cut means for your wallet, here's what to know. Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

The mere fact that a franchisor violated the FTC Rule did not give rise to a claim under the Texas DTPA. United States District Court for the Western District of Texas examined whether a violation of an FTC rules automatically gives rise to a claim under the DTPA. The court recognized that some Texas courts have allowed a violation of the FTCA to be used as the basis for finding an independent violation of the Texas DTPA. See Texas Cookie Co. v. Hendricks & Peralta, Inc., 747 S.W.2d 873, 877 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1988, writ den.). However, the Fifth Circuit recently pointed out that "no provision of Texas or Federal Law declares violations of the FTC Franchise Rule to be actionable deceptive trade practices under the Texas DTPA." Yumilicious Franchise, L.L.C. v. Barrie, 819 F.3d 170, 176 (5th Cir. 2016). The court in the instant case followed the Fifth Circuit. Arruda v. Curves Int'l, Inc., No. 6:20-cv-00092-ADA, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132273 (W.D. Tex. 2020) Click here for more.

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