It is not uncommon for banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions to violate the law. These laws may concern lending, sales, or other business practices. As a result, consumer fraud protection laws were established to protect consumers and businesses from fraud, unfair and deceptive practices that create an unfair advantage.
Under state and federal law, companies that intentionally mislead or defrauded consumers about the character of their business may be subject to fines and penalties. Additionally, they may be liable for any harm suffered by their consumers.
Our attorneys work alongside consumers, regulators, and state officials in order to bring suit against companies engaging in unfair and deceptive trade practices.
North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade
Chapter 75 of the North Carolina General Statutes protects consumers from fraud and unfair and deceptive business practices. Violating this statute can, consequently, result in treble damages.
Some common types of consumer violations include:
- Misrepresentations about products or services
- Illegal foreclosures or repossession
- False advertising
- Illegal loans, Pay Day Lending
- Mortgage abuse
There are countless ways that businesses can deceive the consumer, but there are some things you can look out for to protect yourself. Some common examples include:
- Advertising goods with the intent of not selling them that way.
- Failing to disclose important information about the product.
- Illegal mortgage payment fees.
- Enrolling a consumer in an automatically renewing program without disclosing the terms.
- Charging illegal eviction fees to tenants of an apartment complex.
If you fully understand your rights as a consumer, you’re more likely to stay safe.
Building your Consumer Fraud case
Many companies will try to avoid these types of suits by destroying evidence and denying allegations of their consumer fraud. As a result, it is imperative that you save any correspondence, contracts, receipts, or other documents pertaining to your case.
Keeping a list of the people that you talked with or met with will also be important to your claim. You should keep track of which customer services representatives, supervisors, and managers you spoke with and how long each conversation lasted. Consequently, the more information have, the easier it will be to establish the credibility of the consumer fraud you faced.
However, even the most well-prepared of clients should still seek council before making their claim.
Relevant Consumer Fraud Class Actions and Results
Our firm has regularly been investigating certain consumer fraud/consumer protection matters. These include:
- Being denied an apartment by a landlord without receiving a disclosure as to the specific reason for the denial or because the records provided were wrong.
- Being charged illegal convenience fees on your mortgage payments.
- When you have had a negative item removed from your credit report, but it continues to reappear months later.
Earlier this year our firm’s consumer fraud attorneys reached a settlement valued at more than $7 million dollars ($3,750,000.00 in cash and $3,279,343.55 in debt waiver) for claims under state unfair debt collection statutes filed on behalf of tenants of Southwood Realty Company, a North Carolina property management company.
The Plaintiff, Angela Stewart, was represented by attorneys Edward H. Maginnis and Karl S. Gwaltney with Maginnis Howard.
Similarly, in 2019 Ed Maginnis and Karl Gwaltney resolved a class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the North Carolina Collection Agency Act for $1,200,000.00. In that case, a collection agency was attempting to collect debt, usually medical debt, from individuals who had filed a bankruptcy case and received a discharge (meaning they no longer owed the funds).
Consumer Protection Attorneys in North Carolina
Our consumer fraud lawyers file suit against finance companies, debt collectors, creditors, and collection agencies to protect you from their unlawful business practices.
Call us at 919-526-0450 or email us through our contact page.