¡Un Notario No Es Abogado!


Excuse my Spanish but hopefully you get my point.  Some of you know that several years ago I was Chair of the Hispanic/Latino Issues Division of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (now the North Carolina Advocates for Justice).  As Chair I had the privilege of interacting and working with legal professionals across the state who handled cases and situations involving Latino clients.  One of the more vexing problems was that of rogue “notarios.”  The rogue notarios were (more…)

Free Consumer Protection Guide (for Lawyers too)


“Consumer Courage” is a free 120-page PDF guide of laws and rights for consumers.  Though the publication was written (and quite well-written, might I add) by legal professionals in Ohio and often references Ohio laws, one can use the publication as a guide to locate and review laws in one’s home state.  A similar guide for North Carolina consumers would be an excellent resource for consumers and lawyers alike.

I commend the publication to your reading; click here for a free copy.  Happy reading and may you be a more informed consumer in the process.

Free Numbers Check: For Your Well(s Fargo) Being


Free credit report and copy of your credit score….. available to Wells Fargo customers.  Offer good until November 16th.

If you find incorrect information on your credit report you should take the appropriate action to have it corrected.  If need be consult an experienced consumer law attorney.

How Bad Paper May Give You More Than a Paper Cut


Recently on NPR, Jake Halpern, the author of the book “Bad Paper” was interviewed and shared a glimpse into the intriguing, complicated, twisted, and sometimes dangerous world of debt buying.  The book seems to be a fascinating read although it may only seem such to some consumer lawyers and others particularly involved or interested in the debt industry.  But the interview transcript and podcast are quite lively and can pique the interest of someone not involved in the debt industry.  Tales of minimal proof of debts and gun-brandishing standoffs are in tow.

If you have issues with debt buyers, collectors, creditors, or other entities relating to collection of a debt don’t guess about how to handle the situation.  Contact an experienced consumer attorney and get some good counsel and advice.

Cramming it Back Down Their Throats: An AT&T Story


AT&T recently settled a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission as well as federal and state entities regarding the deceptive practice of “cramming” consumers who had mobile phone service with AT&T.  The whopping $105 million settlement is the largest settlement ever with a mobile phone carrier.

According to the FTC, AT&T Mobility, LLC allegedly charged consumers’ mobile phone bills for third-party subscriptions or services that they never ordered or authorized. Many consumers weren’t aware they had been paying — up to $9.99 per month — for seemingly random horoscope text messages, flirting tips, celebrity gossip, wallpaper or ringtones that showed up on their phones.”

No cramming!   Read the FTC press release here.  The FTC press release provides a replica of an actual AT&T bill that hid the unauthorized charges.  Pretty slick but it cost the company dearly.

If you were an AT&T customer click here to see if you are entitled to make a claim for a refund.  Moral of the story: play by the rules and be fair or else you may be get a megadose of payback.

It’s That Time Again..UNCG Homecoming!


Homecoming is coming…..October 27th thru November 4.  Check the event schedule, make your travel/lodging plans, and go back to your alma mater.  While there be sure to interact with current Spartan students and share your memories, experiences, and wisdom. And note that you can learn some things from these talented Spartans too—a true win-win situation.

UNCG Homecoming 2014 And spread the word about Homecoming via your use of social media.  Hashtag for the big Spartan event is #uncgHC14.

Nothing like a Spartan party.  North Carolina A&T State University’s homecoming may be billed as “The Greatest Homecoming on Earth” but UNCG homecoming is a unique event with its own charm and sense of purpose. Take part and show your Spartan pride…..and Aggies (and others) are welcome to attend too.  Go Spartans!

ENC: Call on Me!


Many of you know that I am originally from New Bern, North Carolina.  I love Eastern North Carolina and still have plenty of family and friends who live in this wonderful area of the state.  Eastern North Carolina spans a wide territory which seems to be generally defined as all points east of the Raleigh/Triangle area—a large territory indeed.  The two main area codes for Eastern North Carolina are 252 and 910 but 919 stretches into the ENC region as well.

The 252 area code spans (more…)

Consumer Clarified: Thanks to Our Court of Appeals


In a recent opinion by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, a 3-0 panel held the definition of the term “consumer” under the North Carolina Debt Collection Act (N.C.G.S. 75-50 et seq.) includes persons who are alleged to owe debts.  In Green Tree Servicing LLC v. Locklear two members of a Robeson County family held interest in a manufactured home and became behind in their payments.  The creditor began a campaign of harassing phone calls and threats and questionable (to say the least) communication with the family members which led to litigation and counterclaims.  (more…)

Debt Collection A to Z: J is for Judgment


Debt collectors and creditors love judgments.  Not as much as they love money but pretty close.  Judgments can be the final chapter of a long tussle to get a debtor to pay on a debt.  Judgments provide debt collectors and creditors with some leverage and additional remedies.  Consequently judgments usually mean the closing of many doors for debtors.

If you owe on a debt and are sued you should immediately (more…)

Score Update: North Carolina Voters Win, 2-1


In what can be considered a victory for voting rights and common sense, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down recent North Carolina legislative changes prohibiting same-day voting and voters voting outside of their districts on Election Day—2 wins.  The one loss was the Court’s decision to (more…)