Gravitas and Veritas for Memorial Day

For those of us fortunate enough to be able to have some semblance of freedom and human rights on this Memorial Day, I implore you to take a few moments to reflect on the true meaning of the day.  It is definitely not about commercialism and its gravitas is not found on or around any cookout grill.

Our men and women in military uniform are the reason we observe Memorial Day.  As we learned in history and social studies our military has fought many battles in many lands to afford us the rights and opportunities of which so many people across the globe can only dream. So as we all partake in any number of rituals or observances or frivolities just be sure to be thankful for the sacrifices that allowed you to enjoy them.  And if you have the opportunity to do so I recommend you thank a veteran personally.  I plan to do so and I invite you to do the same.  Now pass the hot dogs and cold (non-alcoholic, of course) refreshments.

Vehicle Law 101: Class is In Session

Recently I presented a Webinar on vehicle issues: Law to the People–April 30–CLE Powerpoint–PDF version.  The presentation was designed for legal professionals seeking an introductory course on the topic but the information is just as valuable to non-lawyers.  In Vehicle Law 101fact, I submit that everyone could benefit from taking a few moments to review this presentation.  We are all consumers and many of us have vehicles or will endeavor to purchase or own a vehicle.

This post is being sent during a long weekend so perhaps you can find a few moments to peruse the above presentation and learn about the law and your rights as relate to a multitude of vehicle issues.  Dispelling myths and dispensing information are but two goals of me sharing this presentation with you. Feel free to save the above link for future reference and share it with family and friends.  If you have particular questions about a vehicle situation do not hesitate to contact me.  Best wishes to you and thanks for your support…

Consumers and Contractors Can (and Should) Work Together

I am contacted by homeowners who are in the midst of disputes with contractors and construction companies.  A home is the most Good constructionsignificant investment most folks ever make and there is a more-than-reasonable expectation that the construction and repairs to a home should be done consistent with all applicable building codes and industry standards.  Too often, however, the work promised and the work performed fall short of these targets.  I see problems stemming from (more…)

Rejoin…Been Busy…Working

Good day to each of you.  It’s been a couple of weeks since we chatted and I apologize.  I got busy….a bit busier than usual.  Hope working!you have been well and enjoying these spring and semi-summer temperatures.  I have played golf a couple of times since we last spoke but the vast majority of time has been spent working.

Working on (more…)

Consumer Law for You: Real (Radio) Talk!

Check me out on the Carolina Law Legal Series this Saturday, May 2nd at 9:30 a.m. EST as I share information and answer O'Neal on the radio!questions regarding various aspects of consumer law.  To listen you can use any of the following links:

If you cannot listen live there should be a podcast available for later listening.  Please share with your family and friends and others who may be interested in learning more about consumer rights. Thanks for all your support and may you be an informed consumer who knows and exercises his or her rights!

Debt Collection A to Z: Y is for Yellow–The Color of Rogue Debt Collectors

Yes, I said it.  Yellow, the color of cowards and chickens………that color fits.  Now, let’s not be mistaken.  I am not putting all debt collectors in this color category.  Just the bad ones.  The collectors and creditors that you hear about on the news.  The ones who do things such as the following: (more…)

What Do You Know About Case Flow?

A common question from prospective clients to an attorney is “what are the steps in handling my case?”  A great question which can lead to a different answer depending on the nature and location of the case in addition to other factors.  In looking at the flow of a tools in your bagcase the following are the typical elements one may find although in varying order if even applicable: (more…)

Debt Collection A to Z: X is for X Marks the Spot

Signing a contract or document can have major consequences.  Hence the need to read, understand, ask questions, understand, and agree BEFORE signing. Some documents still have an “x” to mark the spot where parties are supposed to sign and assent to the terms that appear on the page and are otherwise referenced on said page.  Often folks realize after signing that they made a bad deal and the finances and consequences catch up with them.  Be it a car loan, credit card agreement, payday loan, promissory note, lease, X Marks the Spot or other contract that involves you agreeing to pay money to another party be abundantly clear you understand what you are signing.  Admittedly you may not understand all of the minutia or  small details but be sure to assess whether these smaller items can spell big trouble for you down the road.

For too many rogue creditors that portion of the contract is the proverbial sweet spot as they can then take advantage of an unsuspecting consumer.  Consumer beware and debtor beware when you get to that “x” on the contract.  Do not assume there is a right to cancel the contract; make sure such a right exists and get it in writing.  If the need should arise contact a consumer lawyer sooner rather than later.

Debt Collection A to Z: W is for Why?

After practicing law for almost 20 years and being a consumer lawyer for the last 10 it never fails to amaze me the lengths people and businesses will go to in an attempt to take advantage of others.  Threats, deception, ridicule, violence, etc. Sometimes I just have to ask “why”.  Don’t you?

  • Why do debt collectors file lawsuits when they know they lack the proof of their legal right to collect on the debt?
  • Why do lenders forge consumers’ signatures on debt-related documents and then try to hold the consumers responsible on the WHY?debt?
  • Why do car dealers fudge the facts and numbers to seek approval of a loan and then try like the dickens to convince the consumer (and often a prospective lender) the consumer padded the application information?
  • Why do some debt collectors publish the consumer’s debt to several different third parties and pretend it doesn’t matter?
  • Why do debt collectors and creditors make verbal agreements with consumers regarding payment modifications and then get “convenient amnesia” regarding the agreements or any such discussions?

But perhaps even more concerning to me is why consumers put up with these and other abuses and violations.  Don’t be that consumer who is victimized and further emboldens rogue debt collectors.  If you believe a debt collector is violating your rights contact an experienced consumer lawyer.


Sorry for the extended hiatus folks.  Been a bit busy.  Just finished and submitted a Powerpoint for a presentation next week in Durham re vehicle law.  And commencing work on a presentation to be given as part of the NCAJ Convention in June.  Also winding down a few lengthy cases and getting up to speed on my New York Rangers playoff march while keeping up with my Washington Nationals as the MLB season is just getting up and running.  And looking forward to a family outing at UNC baseball game this Saturday night (Go Heels!).  Several more things on tap as well..

I hope this email finds you and yours doing well and enjoying the break in weather and the advent of spring temperatures.  Pollen aside, there have been several nice, sunny, warm days in the past couple of weeks and we look forward to more ahead.  As you launch into spring in earnest take a few moments to consider doing some spring cleaning.  While you read and share I will get back to work and report back to you soon.  Best wishes and thanks for your support…..