There is no dearth of cases where consumer rights have been violated. These cases are rampant, with several businesses being secretive and violating the privacy of consumers. Several consumer protection laws were brought in place to deal with the ever-growing cases of consumer rights violations.
These laws govern on both a federal and state level. The Federal Trade Commission, established in 1914, is one among several organizations that aim to deal with consumer violation cases with the help of certain acts in place.
These laws help you, as victims of unfair business practices, to challenge it through legal means. You can find an expert consumer protection attorney here to take the legal course of action by understanding your rights as a consumer.
To help understand if a business practice has violated your consumer rights, here are some of the common consumer protection laws that everyone needs to be aware of:
There are quite many cases wherein consumers have been violated where credit is concerned. Keeping in mind the importance of credit reports during background checks if you ever intend to opt for a loan, insurance, or credit card, preventing any unlawful act that could bring down your credit score is vital. Fair Credit Reporting Laws help prevent such circumstances. These laws include:
This act was passed to protect consumers from unfair billing practices that include charges for undelivered goods or services, unauthorized charges, charges for unaccepted goods, etc., made to the consumer’s credit card.
This act prevents creditors from discriminating against applicants on credit transactions based on their color, race, national origin, age, religion, gender, or marital status.
The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act refers to complete disclosure of the terms of acquiring a credit card, the annual charges, the interest rates, as well as the late fee.
Both these acts help prevent harm to consumers due to incorrect credit report information or invasion of privacy while collecting the information. In addition, through these acts, the consumers are given the right to know who is obtaining the information and the right to challenge or rectify the information gathered about them.
The chances of being pickpocketed are always high and more so if you use public transport often. Imagine the horror of losing your ATM card and getting notified about a withdrawal you didn’t make. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act is set in place to help minimize the liability of the consumer in case their card is being used fraudulently or without their permission.
The Consumer Leasing Act compels a lessor to ensure that a lessee is provided with clear disclosure of the important terms in a lease agreement. The lessor is also required to provide a list that states every cost charged for a lease.
The Federal Trade Commission has ensured the privacy of consumers through certain acts that protect them. Some of these include:
The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act: In 1998, the Identity Theft Assumption Deterrence Act was introduced by the Federal Commission that stated identity theft to be a federal crime. Consumers are given the right to act if they are ever a victim of identity theft.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act protects a consumer’s personal information that financial institutions hold, upholding financial privacy.
Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act: This refers to the prohibition of unfair and deceptive practices. With this act, the trade commission ensures the upholding of promises of consumer privacy made by companies to the consumers.
The Truth in Lending Act was introduced to ensure that a lender provides complete written disclosure regarding consumer loans to a borrower. This disclosure encompasses the cost, the calculation, and the Annual Percentage Rate being paid for the loan. Anyone taking a loan or a mortgage must be given a copy as per the Truth in Lending Act.
While all uphold all of these laws laid down by the federal commission, numerous state-level laws are in place. Most states also have a department dedicated to consumer affairs.
Are you a victim of business fraud? Make sure you know your rights and find a lawyer to help you challenge fraudulent business practices. You can find the right consumer protection lawyer to help you by filling the form provided here.