This is One Mad Cat: A Vehicle Repair Story

I live in North Carolina and I realize that many folks here are Carolina Panther fans.  I am okay with that although I am a lifelong Pittsburgh Steeler fan.  I have no qualms with the Panthers and actually like their team and the way their organization is run as it mirrors my Steelers organization in many ways.  Anywho (as several of my wonderful girl cousins would say..) one Panther was not too thrilled about his recent experience with a vehicle repair shop in the Queen City.  Mike Tolbert took his vehicle to Motion Lab Tuning for some work to be done and, by his version, the work took too long, the work was not completed, and the work cost too much.  How did he show his displeasure?  He took to social media and blasted the shop but he did pay his bill….in coins.  All $3,900.00 of it….wow!

North Carolina has a motor vehicle repair law that protects consumers and seeks to set some boundaries for consumers and businesses.  Not sure how many (if any) laws were broken in the course of Mr. Tolbert’s dealings with the repair shop but I do know I get many calls from consumers who have questions and problems with their own repair experiences.  If you find your vehicle repair in need of repair or some attention, you should contact a consumer lawyer for a consultation and possible representation.

Need Some Money? Look Here….

Most of us would gladly accept a few extra dollars.  Different things can be done with said money but the key is getting the money.

You and Your Money:  A Happy Reunion

You and Your Money: A Happy Reunion

One method is to locate money that is owed to you.  Each of the 50 United States of America has an unclaimed property agency or division which houses money and property that has not been returned to the rightful owner.  The fancy legal word for this is Continue reading

The D-I-Y Dilemma

Some things we can do ourselves and all goes well.  Just as importantly, if it does not go so well we have not lost much in the process.  Unfortunately many people do things themselves that they really have no business contemplating let alone doing.  As an attorney I frequently get calls from people who have begun something on their own and found themselves in tough, sometimes intractable, predicaments.  Click here to learn about whether and when you may need an attorney.

Have the tools to do it yourself?  Sure?

Have the tools to do it yourself? Sure?


Knowing one’s limits is definitely a good thing.  Saving money can be good but if saving the money up-front backfires you will likely wind up spending even more money and time before all is said and done.

My Advice on Car/Vehicle Buying

From time to time folks ask for my thoughts on buying vehicles.  What to buy….where to buy….how to prepare….what to say……what to sign (and not to sign)..and the list goes on.  I could talk for hours on this topic but none of you would want me to do so.  Trust me….

A few notes and a little patience could save you a lot of headache

A few notes and a little patience could save you a lot of headache

Here is a quick outline of my thoughts on buying vehicles.  It has been developed based on my own personal buying experiences as well as talking with hundreds of people who purchased or leased vehicles.  Hope it serves you well and feel free to share with those in your social media and other spheres of influence. Continue reading

Long Time…Labor Day!

Good day to each of you.  It has been quite a while since we have chatted.  Obviously I have been quite busy and I imagine you have also.  With all this work and tasks and summer heat and humidity it is quite a relief to reach Labor Day as it means, among other things, a day off for many and a break in the summer weather for others.  For those who are unable to vacation or even take Monday out of work I hope you find a moment of respite sometime during this holiday weekend.  Recharge the battery…

Wherever this Labor Day finds you and yours I wish you the best and hope you have a chance to spend some quality time with those who are important to you.  I shall strive to be back in touch with you before too long.  In the meantime feel free to review my website for free information that you should also share with your family and friends.  And if I can be of service to you regarding a traffic ticket (Guilford, Forsyth, Randolph, Rockingham Counties) or consumer issue or car/vehicle/lemon/auto fraud or civil matter feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Is This Dealership A House of Horror?

Auto House operates vehicle dealerships in Mooresville and Salisbury [North Carolina].  Recently, several consumers who purchased vehicles from Auto House complained they were sold vehicles that were misbranded or misrepresented.  The result?  If this is true the consumers overpaid for the vehicles they purchased.  Click here for the most recent local news story by WSOC TV in Charlotte which is following an ongoing investigation by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau.  And now the North Brief noteCarolina Attorney General’s office is interested in the goings on.  Not good.

So what can a consumer do to prevent buying a misbranded vehicle?

  • Do research on the vehicle’s make, model, trimline, and features by going to the manufacturer’s website.  For example, if you are contemplating buying a Ford F-150 truck visit the Ford website and check for the exact type of vehicle you may be purchasing.
  • Get the vehicle’s VIN (do not rely on the VIN listed in an online ad; go see the vehicle in person and take copy the VIN listed on the vehicle) and ensure it is consistent with the vehicle you seek to purchase.  Click here for how to interpret the information contained in a VIN

And when buying any used vehicle it is imperative you do your homework before signing any paperwork or agreeing to make the purchase.

In the meantime many people await the results of the investigations into Auto House and many persons who purchased vehicles from Auto House may be a bit concerned–to say the least.  Unfortuately, Auto House is not the first and will not be the last vehicle dealership that may have taken advantage of unsuspecting consumers.  If you believe you have purchased a misbranded vehicle or otherwise been the victim of auto fraud contact an experienced consumer law attorney for a consultation.


Rep Your School (or Organization)!

For those of you who attended a college or university do you have a license plate for your school? I don’t mean a bumper sticker although those are nice (I have a few myself). No, I am talking about a bona fide license plate issued by your state’s DMV.  In North Carolina the Division of Motor Vehicles offers license plates for 38 academic institutions which includes several out-of-state schools. A portion of your application fee and annual license plate renewal fee goes to your alma mater and you get the year-long sense of pride in promoting and supporting your school.

North Carolina has 187 specialty license plates to choose from which include a variety of non-academic organizations and groups; click here to search the list.  If you live in a state other than NC, click here to find your state’s DMV and look for information on collegiate or specialty license plates.

Before you ask, yes, I do have a collegiate license plate.  I am the proud holder of a license plate for UNCG!  Join the thousands of people who drive with pride.  Get your plate today!

Troubling Trump

Most of you have heard the buzz about the lawsuit involving the now-defunct Trump University which was the brainchild and machination of none other than presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.  As a consumer lawyer I am appalled at some of the things that may have occurred. High pressure sales tactics, encouraging people to max out credit cards and loan money to

Thumbs down on Trump University

Thumbs down on Trump University

pay for tuition and materials, grandiose and Continue reading

The Car Sharks

Vehicles come in many styles, colors, and varieties.  They are bought and sold daily across the United States.  Unfortunately within the thousands of vehicle transactions which occur monthly there are a disturbing number which are doomed to fail.  Failure either due to the Sign, Drive, and Sigh....vehicle breaking down, the financing “falling through”, failure to deliver title, or other issues.

And then there is the shady industry of sub-prime auto loans.  Read this and be forewarned.  Do your homework before purchasing a vehicle including contemplating arranging your own financing.  But if you have made a purchase and have some problems contact an experienced attorney—pronto!

Payday Lenders…Google Me Not!

Google has tremendous power in driving internet commerce and it has taken the opportunity to use this power in what should be a positive manner for consumers.  Beginning July 13th 2016 Google will no longer continue, post, or allow advertisements for payday lenders who offer loans “..are due within 60 days, along with ads for loans with annual interest rates of 36 percent or higher.”  While Google’s action will not eliminate payday lenders from being found online it does send a message that a major player in the online business world is taking a stand (relatively speaking) against an industry that is fraught with predators and peril.

One can hope that consumers explore all alternative options before agreeing to do business with payday lenders.  For more information on consumer protection related to payday lending and other forms of debt collection click here.  Best wishes to each of you and continue to be an informed consumer.