Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Britax Recalls Child Safety Seats for Harness Defect

Britax, a top child safety seat company headquartered in South Carolina, recently announced a recall on its ClickTight Convertible safety seat after a report found problems with the harness. The defect could affect over 200,000 products, rendering them completely useless to protect infants and children.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Driverless Cars Could Mean for Lemon Law Cases

Researchers at the University of Michigan's new M-City are beginning to test driverless cars in a city setting. Cityscapes, it turns out, are one of the most difficult parts of programming an autonomous vehicle. Errors in this programming could lead to a rash of lemon law injury cases where drivers, passengers, and pedestrians suffer from the poor decisions of an autonomous vehicle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Deadline Approaching for Western Sky Predatory Lending Claims

If you are one of the 17,500 Michigan consumers paying too much for their Western Sky and CashCall loans time is running out to file your claim and get your money back. Claims have to be filed by September 18, 2015. Find out if you qualify today.
On May 14, 2015, Michigan's Attorney General's office announced a $2.2 million settlement with South Dakota-based Western Sky Financial and California company CashCall Inc. The claim: that the companies charged illegally high interest and fees for their quick-fix loans.
Internet-based Western Sky charged between 89 and 169 percent interest – well above Michigan's legal limits. The interest and fees on a $1,000 loan could leave borrowers paying more than $4,000 within two years. Other short-term, 6-month loans had an APR of 350%.
Attorney General Bill Schuette and his Corporate Oversight Division weren't going to let the Internet lenders take advantage of Michigan residents.
  “We will not tolerate any businesses attempting to skirt the rules at the expense of Michigan consumers trying to make ends meet,” said Schuette. “This settlement is a victory for the thousands of Michigan consumers who took out Western Sky loans and serves as a warning to only do business with licensed entities. I am grateful for the joint efforts and hard work by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services and my staff that secured this settlement providing significant relief for Michigan consumers.”
After the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued a cease and desist regulatory action against Western Sky and CashCall – demanding they stop selling unlicensed, high-interest loans in Michigan – the two companies agreed to negotiate. All Western Sky loans were capped at 7% annual interest, even if they had originally been set higher. This happens automatically without the borrower needing to do anything.
But Michigan residents with active Western Sky accounts who overpaid on high-interest loans in the past still need to act. To get a “pro rata refund” - your share of the excessive fees charged by Western Sky and CashCall – you have to make a claim with the Claim Fund Administrator, Dahl Administration, LLC.
Eligible Western Sky borrowers should have received a notice explaining the claims process by July 20, 2015. All claims must be filed by September 18, 2015. That means there's only about a month left to get your part of the $2.2 million settlement fund.
The consumer protection team at The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. can help you prepare and file your claim with the Dahl Administration, LLC and make sure you are compensated for the predatory lending practices of Western Sky and CashCall. Don't wait. If you have received a notice or believe you are entitled to compensation, contact The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. today to get the process started with a free consultation.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ford Announces Ignition Recall

Last month, Ford Motor Company issued a recall for 433,000 vehicles. Hoping to avoid the same problems that plagued General Motors and Takata, the auto-maker issued its recall before anyone had reported accidents or injuries.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Federal Agency Says Creditors' Rights Law Firm Uses Unfair Collections Practices

Consumer advocates have known collections company lawyers often can't prove their cases for years. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Agency says one creditors' rights law firm's tactics actually violate consumer protection laws by using unfair collections practices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against one of Georgia's largest “Creditors' Rights” law firms, claiming the firm's lawyers weren't meaningfully involved in their cases and that their processes violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).

So-called Creditors' Rights law firms sue consumers for past due debts on behalf of the collections companies. In the case of the Georgia-based law firm defendant in the lawsuit, the firm's eight to 16 attorneys had filed over 350,000 lawsuits in four years. According to the Bureau, the attorneys relied on support staff and automated systems to do everything from researching cases to preparing filings – spending no more than one minute reviewing each document.

The Bureau's complaint also claimed that the lawyers for the collections companies knew the debts they were suing to collect had been purchased by debt buyers, so no one at the companies had personal knowledge of how the debts came to be. According to the Bureau, this means the lawyers knew or should have known that they wouldn't be able to prove their cases when they were filed. This could explain why the firm voluntarily dismisses about 155 collections cases every week.

This month, the federal judge refused a request to dismiss the Bureau's lawsuit. That means that the creditor's rights firm could be financially liable for filing lawsuits it knew couldn't win and misrepresenting their lawyers' involvement in the cases they file. It could fundamentally change how collections law works across the country.

The single best way to defend against these kinds of collections harassment lawsuits is to hire a lawyer as soon as you are contacted by a collections firm. Consumer advocates like the attorneys at The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., know the tactics of creditor's rights attorneys, and they know how to fight them. The Bureau has found, “consumers who retained attorneys were almost four times more likely to have their cases dismissed.”

According to Michigan consumer protection attorney Dani K. Liblang:
It is great to see the CFPB taking an interest in cleaning up these practices. These days, when one’s credit history is used not only to judge creditworthiness but, also, to determine such other life necessities as insurance rates and employment eligibility, protecting the integrity of the system is even more important than ever.”

The consumer protection attorneys at The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. are ready to defend you against the harassing tactics of creditors' rights firms trying to collect on your debt. If you have been the victim of collections harassment, contact The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., for a free consultation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ally Financial to Pay $98 Million For Discriminatory Auto Loans

In the largest settlement of any auto-loan discrimination case, Detroit-based Ally Financial has agreed to pay $98 million in fines and damages after regulators discovered discriminatory auto loan practices by its dealerships.
Ally Financial, formerly GMAC, has settled regulatory claims by the Department of Justice and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The claims said African-American borrowers were being charged an average of $300 more than their non-Hispanic white counterparts for their auto loans. Hispanics paid about $200 more.
In March 2015, the CFPB announced it would begin regulating non-bank auto lenders like Ally. These lenders make up 40 percent of the auto-loan market, lending to over 7 million consumers every year. The goal of the regulation was to crack down on “dealer financing” - where the car dealers act as middlemen between the buyer and the lender.
In Ally's case, the lender arranged loans through its dealers who were allowed to quote higher rates to their customers beyond what their credit history would indicate. Because Ally Financial did nothing to keep its dealers from charging minority buyers higher rates, it was responsible for the costs charged to its 235,000 minority consumers.
Because of its discriminatory auto loan policies, Ally Financial has agreed to pay $98 million in fines and consumer costs. Of that amount, $80 million will go to African-American, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders who got auto financing through Ally Financial between April 2011 and December 2013.
The team at The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., are ready to take your calls about Ally Financial's discriminatory lending practices. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits creditors from discriminating against minorities in its loan applications and lending rates. Consumers whose rights are violated can sue the lender directly.
The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., has also represented consumers in “yo-yo lending” cases – where a dealer delivers a vehicle to the consumer, leading him or her to believe their loan has been approved, only to demand it back a week or so later because the “financing fell through.” Michigan law requires dealers to honor a consumer's written contract, even if they are later unable to sell the financing contract to the anticipated lender. If the dealer cancels the contract or tries to raise the rate, the consumer may have a case against the lender.
Dani K. Liblang at The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., is a consumer protection attorney with over 30 years' experience. If you have been harmed by Ally Financial's discriminatory lending policies, she may be able to help you file your claim. Contact the Liblang Law Firm, P.C., to find out if you you qualify.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FCC Tightens Protection Against Robocalls

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is tightening restrictions that prevent telemarketers from using robocalls and automatic dialers to reach consumers. This could open the door for class action lawsuits against auto-dialing companies.