Last month, nationwide bridal salon Alfred Angelo closed its doors unexpectedly upon filing for bankruptcy. Now it appears these brides and bridesmaids won’t get their dresses. Do stranded brides have any Consumer Protection options?
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Self-driving cars will be hitting the roads in Michigan sooner than you may think. But will they be safe for cyclists? One scientist says the answer may be smart bikes that talk directly to the autonomous vehicles.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
For some Michigan residents, a gym membership can be the gift that keeps on giving. But if you have to move, cut costs, or simply change gyms it can sometimes be difficult to cancel that obligation. Gyms can pressure members to renew or modify their agreements, and even threaten cancellation fees or penalties. But the Michigan Attorney General says sometimes these tactics can cross the line of consumer protection laws.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
In the face of political opposition, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a new rule protecting consumers’ right to join class action lawsuits. The rule would keep banks and credit card companies from using arbitration clauses to keep small claims out of court.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
This year, the IRS has begun to outsource its tax debt collections to private contractors. But the National Taxpayer Advocate and several senators are asking whether one IRS contractor’s debt collection methods violate federal consumer protection laws.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
With the rising costs of auto maintenance, many Michigan residents are turning to used tires to save some money. But when it comes to used tires, as well as wheels and rims, what you don’t know could put you at risk.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Not all car accidents happen on the road. Some people are seriously injured by accidents involving parked motor vehicles. But will your PIP insurance pay for that? The Michigan Supreme Court recently weighed in on what happens when you are injured unloading your car.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
If you have fallen behind on your auto loan, you could end up having your car repossessed. You may assume that will be the end of your problems. But in fact, debt collectors could force you to pay thousands more on a car you no longer own.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Purchasing a new or used vehicle is a big deal. So how do you know the dealership is treating you right? Here are 5 Michigan consumer protection laws that protect you and your car.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
After an auto accident the last thing an injured motorist wants to think about is medical bills. The Michigan No Fault Act is supposed to ensure they are paid, but a new Michigan Supreme Court decision could put patients in the middle between medical providers and their money.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
For many people, filing paperwork isn’t at the top of their list after a serious personal injury accident. But a recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision in a Blue Water Bridge injury case shows how important it is to get notices filed before the state-imposed deadlines expire, especially when the government gets involved.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Since 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have protected American consumers from unfair financial practices. But now the Financial CHOICE Act could, in President Trump’s words, be a “major haircut” to the organization and its ability to protect citizens.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance is designed to cover your medical expenses after a car crash. But it doesn’t cover everything. Find out what you can do when no-fault auto insurance is not enough.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Uber, the popular ride-sharing app, puts users worldwide in touch with everyday drivers looking to make some money. But the City of Portland and the U.S. Justice Department say the company’s “Greyball” software might have crossed a line, singling out regulators and taking them on a different kind of ride.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
No one wants to go to court to avoid paying creditors. Unfortunately, thousands of people every year face collections lawsuits. Find out what to expect, and what an attorney can do to help.
Demand Letters Are Lead-Ins to Court
If you receive a demand letter from a collections agency, sometimes also called a validation notice, it is the first sign that you may be headed to court. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), before a creditor can file a collections lawsuit against you it must first send you a notice that states:
The amount you owe
The name of the creditor
That you have 30 days to dispute the debt or the collector has the right to assume it is valid
That if you dispute the debt in writing within 30 days you are entitled to receive a verification of the debt and its amount
That you are entitled to the name and address of the original creditor upon request during that initial 30 days
If you receive this letter, you should contact a collections defense attorney right away. If you wait for the 30 days to go by you could be giving up valid legal defenses.
Inability to Pay Is Not a Defense
Many people choose to represent themselves in collections lawsuits based on their lack of available funds to pay their debts. There are many defenses to a collections lawsuit, but inability to pay is not one of them. If all you have to say is that you don’t have the money to pay, you will most likely end up with a judgment against you.
Instead of going in with nothing but your empty pockets, you should speak to an experienced debtor’s rights attorney before appearing in court. Many creditors violate laws and court rules in attempts to get paid. A lawyer can help you prove to the court:
That the debt is not yours
That the amount is wrong
That interest has been applied improperly
That you did not receive proper notice of the debt or the lawsuit
That the collections agency cannot prove the alleged debt exists
That the collections agency violated the law by harassing you for payment
Other legal defenses based on your specific facts
Many defenses must be raised within the first few weeks of a collections lawsuit. They must be included in a formal “Answer to Complaint” that is filed with the court. It is important that you talk to a collections defense attorney right away to preserve these defenses and make the best of a bad situation.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
The auto insurance company is refusing to pay your medical bills and collections companies are calling you directly. The last thing you want to do is pay more money to an attorney to get help. The good news is that in many cases, you aren’t the one that pays your personal injury lawyer after an auto accident.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Just as Michigan was ready to put winter in its rear-view mirror, a recent order from the Michigan Supreme Court brought ice and snow back into focus.
Black Ice Causes Slip and Fall AccidentMarguerite Ragnoli was walking in the parking lot at North Oakland-North Macomb Imaging, Inc. The sun had gone down, but the lights in the parking lot hadn’t come on yet. Temperatures hovered around freezing, and a heap of snow was piled in the parking lot. It was warm enough that the pavement was wet and the snow was melting. Ragnoli slipped on a patch of black ice and fell, suffering serious injuries. She sued North Oakland-North Macomb Imaging, Inc., based on premises liability.
Premises Liability, Slip and Fall, and Icy WeatherWhen property owners invite people onto their property, they are required to take reasonable care to protect them from dangerous conditions causing an unreasonable risk of harm. But where those dangers are “open and obvious” it is up to the visitor, not the property owner to avoid the danger.
“Open and obvious” means that an average person would have discovered the danger through a casual inspection. When it comes to ice and snow, the question of an open and obvious risk depends on the surrounding weather conditions. Where wintry conditions exist, individuals are generally put on notice of the risk of ice and snow. They walk at their own risk.
Court of Appeals Finds Special Aspects to Parking LotEven when wintry conditions abound, a premises liability lawsuit can survive if certain “special aspects to the condition” exist. In Ragnoli’s case, last year the Michigan Court of Appeals found that the darkness of the parking lot created just such a special aspect. The court found that a question of fact existed as to whether “a lack of lighting in the parking lot prevented Marguerite from seeing the ice.”
Michigan Supreme Court Strikes Down Slip and Fall CaseRecently, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order (in lieu of granting leave to appeal) overturning the Court of Appeal’s decision. The Court said:
“[N]otwithstanding the low lighting in the parking lot, the presence of wintery weather conditions and of ice on the ground elsewhere on the premises rendered the risk of a black ice patch ‘open and obvious such that a reasonably prudent person would foresee the danger’ of slipping and falling in the parking lot.”The Supreme Court order solidified the “open and obvious” defense to a premises liability lawsuit, making it very hard for plaintiffs to collect benefits for slip and fall cases based on ice and snow. It takes an experienced personal injury attorney like Dani K. Liblang of The Liblang Law Office, PC, in Birmingham, Michigan, to identify winning legal theories and collect benefits for plaintiffs’ injuries. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact The Liblang Law Office, PC, to find out if you have a case.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
When money is tight, buying a used car “as is” may be tempting. But is it worth the risk? Find out what you are giving up before your sign the title.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
A teen driver recently hit two Good Samaritans who were assisting injured motorists. The crash raises questions about whether alcohol or distracted driving was involved, and who is to blame for the damages.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
What would you do if your brand new car went to the shop 21 times in just a few years? For one Liblang Law Firm, PC, client, that red flag led to a winning lemon law lawsuit.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Is the car you are driving safe? If yours is one of the 63 million vehicles subject to recall across the country, you and your family could be taking an unnecessary risk.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
In the battle for energizing American citizens, advertising claims have ranged from the silly (Red Bull “gives you wings”) to the scientific. But a Washington state court recently ruled that 5 Hour Energy crossed the line when it made claims about the medical benefits of its product.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Consumer protection covers a wide variety of state and federal complaints. Find out what the top 10 consumer protection complaints in Michigan were in 2016, and how the state stacks up to the rest of the country.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
You go to the used car lot, sign a contract, and drive away with a new-to-you vehicle. You own it, right? Wrong. Find out what happens when the dealership doesn’t transfer title to your used car.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Yahoo! seems to constantly coming up in the news, and not in a good way. But the latest Yahoo email hack is different, and what you don’t know could hurt you.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Veteran lemon law lawyer Dani K. Liblang recently spoke at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Find out what she says are the biggest obstacles to settlement in a lemon law case.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Veteran lemon law lawyer Dani K. Liblang recently spoke at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Find out what she believes makes an auto defect claim ripe for settlement.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Veteran lemon law lawyer Dani K. Liblang recently spoke at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Find out how plaintiffs’ depositions and vehicle inspections can make or break your case.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Veteran lemon law lawyer Dani K. Liblang recently spoke at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Find out what she says makes a strong lemon law claim.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
There are a lot of lawyers out there, but not all of them can help you when your car doesn’t live up to the hype. When a persistent problem sends you back to the dealership for a 4th time, you need a lemon law expert. Attorney Dani K. Liblang of The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., was recently asked to speak on the issue by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Auto manufacturer Volkswagen has settled criminal and civil charges by the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Administration. The company has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties and several employees face individual charges as a result of a decade-long emissions scandal.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Every year, thousands of people commit to get healthy in the new year. Maybe you resolved to join a gym or workout more in 2017. If you did, you make sure you do your research, or you could be facing a consumer protection disaster.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
When you trip on broken pavement sometimes it’s just a scraped knee. But other times a poorly maintained sidewalk can cause serious injuries. When that happens you need to know there is somewhere you can turn to recover your damages. But a new law could stand between personal injury plaintiffs and government defendants.