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.

Law and Life Blog Turned Four Years Old This Month


Thank you for all of your readership, comments, shares, and other support of the Law and Life Blog.  At times I do not write as often as I would like or should but I hope you find the Blog a source of reference and helpful information.  Injecting humor and humanity-as

Happy (4th) Birthday Law and Life Blog!

Happy (4th) Birthday Law and Life Blog!

appropriate-into the thorny issues of law and legal related problems…..this is the goal of the Blog.

Although the Blog first appeared in May 2012 the predecessor Law and Life Newsletter dates back to February 2005.  Back then I was working at a law firm in Greensboro handling primarily personal injury and civil litigation.  Since then I have been blessed to open my own office and expand my focus to handling a plethora of consumer matters such as homeowners’ issues, auto fraud, unfair and harassing debt collection—to name a few.  Click here for more information on my areas of practice.

Please continue to share Blog posts with your family, friends, and others in your sphere of influence.  And if you are reading this post but are not a subscriber take a few moments to sign up–Click here and on the top right side of your page where you see “Follow Blog via Email” type your email address in the box and click on the “Follow” button underneath the box.  You will get an email in your inbox (be sure to check your Junk mail box) with simple directions how to confirm your subscription.  Simple indeed…..

Best wishes to each of you and may you be a better informed consumer and citizen by virtue of the Law and Life Blog.

Supreme Court Speaks on Spokeo: Where Are We Now?


Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling and opinion in a consumer law case.  The case of Spokeo Inc. v. Robins involves a consumer who sued an online entity which qualifies as a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Robins alleged Spokeo posted inaccurate information about his financial worth, among other things.  However it is unclear just what the decision in  means for the consumer law landscape.

The key issue in Spokeo seemed to be that of concrete harm a/k/a actual injury.  Spokeo sought dismissal of the consumer’s claim asserting that the consumer had failed to allege how he had been harmed by several factual inaccuracies posted online by Spokeo.  The consumer claimed Spokeo’s publication of the false information was a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and thereby entitled him to recover statutory damages.  In its 6-2 decision the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to analyze whether the particular violations of FCRA that the consumer alleged create a “degree of risk sufficient to meet the concreteness requirement.”  The Supreme Court did not, decide “whether the Ninth Circuit’s ultimate conclusion—that Robins adequately alleged an injury in fact—was correct.”

So, in sum, the Spokeo case is not over and the consumer could still prevail.  Time will tell and the question looms as to whether the case will eventually make its way back to the Supremes for another look.  Until then consumer lawyers across the country handling cases arising under FCRA, FDCPA, ECOA, and other similar federal and state statutes will be keeping Spokeo on their proverbial radar for future blips.