You are entitled to relief if a recovery company repossesses your car illegally, as according to the laws in most places in the United States. In Massachusetts, for example, the Massachusetts Illegal Repossession Law (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 255B, § 20B) says if you have not defaulted on your vehicle payments, then your automobile cannot be repossessed.
If you fallen into default, you still must be given proper requisite notice that you have 21 days to cure the default and get up to date in payments. If you do not get this notice, then your vehicle cannot be repossessed.
If the law is not followed, and the repossession company tries to repossess your vehicle, it is trespassing illegally on your property. If your vehicle is on your property, and not on the street, and you tell the repossession company’s agent that it is not to take your vehicle, it must leave your property. It cannot still proceed to try to repossess your vehicle.
After being told to leave your property, a repossession company cannot come back to repossess your vehicle without first obtaining a court order. If the repossession company comes back to take your vehicle without first obtaining a court order, any resulting repossession is illegal. If it tries to repossess your vehicle at night, the repossession is also illegal. Any illegal act by the recovery company could result in the return of your vehicle.
Having a vehicle repossessed can be a difficult time, particularly if the vehicle that was taken was the only one you or your family had available. If you feel that you are the victim of an illegal repossession, please contact our law firm. You can be entitled to statutory damages, possible actual damages that you might have suffered, and you could also possibly be entitled to be let out of the loan financing agreement. You can also be entitled to having your Boston consumer protection attorney’s fees and costs paid. We would like to hear your story to see if there is something we can do to help you; the consultation will be quick and free. People may fall on hard times, and fall behind in payments on a vehicle, but no one should be subjected to an illegal repossession.
Payday Loan Scams
Payday Loan companies have regulations imposed on them in multiple states that these lending companies are required to follow. In Massachusetts, for example, any company giving out a consumer loan for $6,000.00 or less at an annual rate of more than twelve percent must be licensed with the Massachusetts Division of Banks. This is pursuant to the Massachusetts Payday Loan Regulations (M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 96 through 113; 209 CMR 26.00). Lenders need to be licensed, or their loans are deemed wholly void. If the lender is licensed, then in order to give out a valid and legal payday loan to a consumer, there are still a good number of rules that they have to follow. For example:
- a) The loan cannot have an interest rate of over 23% yearly;
- b) The loan cannot charge an administrative fee of more than $20.00 per year;
- c) Loans more than a year overdue cannot charge an annual interest rate of over 6%;
- d) The first payment date cannot be more than 1 month and 15 days after the date of the loan;
- e) If the loan is paid back in full in before first payment is due, then the consumer has to receive a refund or credit;
- f) Late fees can only be assessed if a payment is 10 days late and can only be 5% of what the payment should have been or $5.00, whichever is less;
- g) A bounced check fee cannot be more than $10.00; and
- h) If a lender makes an agreement to allow deferral of payment(s), then the lender may not charge a deferral fee unless, (1) all late fees are forgiven and, (2) the consumer is provided with necessary disclosures.
If the payday loan lender is licensed but overcharges the consumer in regards to the loan in the manner described above, the consumer can sue to have the loan modified or cancelled. However, as mentioned above, if the lender is unlicensed, then the loan is wholly void. Regardless of licensure, if the rules regarding payday loans are not followed in Massachusetts, the consumer can sue for a refund of illegal overcharges plus twice their legal costs.
If you feel that you are the victim of excessive charges from a payday loan lender, or that you received a payday loan from a lender who is not licensed with the Massachusetts Division of Banks, or if you are in another state and think that you received a payday loan from a lender who is not following the rules of your state in regards to payday loans, please contact our firm so that we can hear your story, and do a free and quick case review. If you are in another state and our Of Counsel cannot help you, even though it is not our obligation to do so we will try to direct you to a law firm that might be able to help you.
We would love to see what we can do to help, as many Massachusetts residents, and also, many citizens and residents around the country have been victimized by these payday loan lenders who subject people to excessive charges; preying on individuals who are just trying to make ends meet and support themselves and/or their families. Our firm does not find that acceptable in the slightest.
Unwanted Collection and Telemarketing Calls, Texts, and Faxes
Debt Collection Companies, Banks, Credit Card Companies, and Telemarketers often will call, text, or fax consumers, without having prior express consent from the consumer for them to be able to do so.
These companies cannot contact you without first having obtained your prior express consent.
There is a federal statute passed by U.S. Congress in 1991 and signed into law that same year by President George H.W. Bush, named The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq.). It protects the rights of people who are receiving unwanted calls, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, texts, or faxes, by companies using automatic telephone dialing machines.
So, if you tell a company to stop calling, texting, or faxing you orally or in writing, it could mean that the offending company owes you $500.00 per every call, text, artificial or prerecorded voice message, or fax made or sent after that to you.
If your court believes that the company acted in a willful and knowing manner, it could entitle you to three times the normal amount per unwanted call, text, artificial or prerecorded voice message, or fax; so, $1,500.00 per unwanted call, text, artificial or prerecorded voice message, or fax.
Even if you do not owe the company any money, or are not on the federal Do Not Call List, if the company is calling you without your express consent, or after you have told it not to, it can owe you up to $500.00 to $1,500.00 per unwanted call.
If you are getting unwanted calls or faxes, please contact the Firm as soon as possible, so that we can do quick, free review of your story to see if your rights were violated and if you may be entitled to monetary damages.
We would love to try to assist you and stop the unwanted harassing calls, texts, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, and/or faxes.
Unfair trade practice laws can help in ensuring that consumers are protected from being victimized by automobile dealer fraud, used vehicles with lemon or salvage titles, and odometer rollback. With odometer rollback, the mileage might be altered on the odometer to make it seem as though the vehicle has less wear and tear on it than it does, which is fraudulent. People should be able to know exactly what they are paying for and how much ‘wear and tear’ is on a vehicle.
Automobile dealers and financing companies might also fraudulently misrepresent the Annual Percentage Rate of the vehicle at the time of sale, so that the consumer ends up paying more than they should, in violation of the federal Truth In Lending Act, which can entitle you to statutory damages, and your attorney’s fees and costs to be paid. In some states, it can also entitle you to not have to pay any interest on the vehicle.
Yo-yo scams also victimize consumers. Dealers permit consumers with weak credit to take possession of a vehicle before financing has been completed on the vehicle, and in many cases a short time later the consumer is back at the dealership due to the financing having faltered. The consumer is then told that he/she has to pay fees and higher interest rates, and sometimes a larger down payment than what they were told before in order to walk retain the vehicle.
These yo-yo scams are sometimes an unfortunate result of the process of spot delivery, where vehicles are sold ‘on the spot’ to consumers with weak credit, at night and on weekends when banks and lenders are unable to approve loan applications. When the applications are declined, and the vehicle has to be returned, consumers often are very embarrassed, though it is of no fault of their own, and the fault lies with the dealership. The consumer then feels more need to purchase a vehicle that they would not have otherwise, to retain some sense of pride, and the dealers know this, which is why they use spot deliveries to consumers with weak credit to begin with.
A state might have a law requiring that any down payment or trade-in under the purchase and sale contract be returned to the vehicle, as some dealerships do not wish to return the trade-in amount, and only want to keep said ‘credit’ at the dealership to force you to get another vehicle with them, while others might not want to return any cash down payment that they received from you.
Depending on your state some of the above conduct by dealerships – or all of it – might be illegal. Please contact our Firm as soon as possible for a quick and free consultation in regards to Auto Fraud. We would love to assist you and see if you are entitled to monetary damages, and for your consumer protection attorney’s fees and costs to be paid.