The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 70 Number 8

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

If you buy something and the contract has a clause that says you agree to arbitrate, you will not be allowed to sue and must file your claim with an arbitrator. Arbitration is often more expensive than a simple lawsuit, denies you the right to a jury trial or an appeal, is not bound by traditional rules of procedure, and often precludes you from filing or joining a class action. To learn more about consumer arbitration.  Click here for more.


New Passenger Protections Take Effect

New rules regulating the airline industry take effect this week. The Department of Transportation's new passenger rules require airlines to disclose all fees associated with ticket prices upfront, include all taxes and fees in advertising, and promptly notify a passenger if a flight is canceled or more than thirty minutes late. A particularly intriguing rule allows a passenger to cancel a reservation (for 24 hours after purchase) without penalty if it is made at least one week before the scheduled departure. For a breakdown of the new rules and how they can help you, Click here for more.


Mortgage Settlement Offers Little Relief

Over one year ago, the mortgage industry was making national headlines for all the wrong reasons. "Robo-signing," creating and using fraudulent documents, and other questionable business practices left people out of their homes and the housing market in shambles. With an estimated 2.3 million homes in foreclosure, it should come as no surprise that several state attorneys general filed suit to correct the mess surrounding housing market. According to reports, the five big banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and GMAC) are close to reaching an estimated $25 billion settlement with state officials. Although a final agreement may still be weeks away, the deal would devote $17 billion to consumer credit, $5 billion to foreclosure relief programs, and another $3 billion to refinance mortgages at lower rates. Consumer advocates have been critical of the proposed settlement. Find out why! Click here for more.


Your Money

Are you planning for retirement? What if you run out of money early? Try this retirement shortfall calculator! Click here for more.


For the Lawyers

Potential identity theft victims do not have standing to sue. The Third Circuit held that employees at a firm whose payroll was processed by a company that had been infiltrated by a hacker could not sue for the increased risk of identity theft. The court concluded that the plaintiffs’ allegations of hypothetical, future injury did not establish standing under Article III of the Constitution. Click here for more.

 

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