As a consumer, the law protects your rights against abusive business practices. This means a company that sells you goods or services is accountable if they are making a profit from your lack of knowledge or understanding of what you’re buying. The laws that relate to these rights exist at both federal and state level. Government agencies and attorney general offices enforce the law, and you have recourse by way of an individual or class action lawsuit.
Different Types of Consumer Protection Laws
US states all have their own consumer protection statutes, prohibiting false advertising, and other deceptive trade practices. A consumer who purchases goods that don’t meet certain standards also has the option of suing the seller for breach of warranty.
Several federal statutes relate to specific areas such as the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Consumer Product Safety Act. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created also to enforce federal consumer financial laws and protect consumers in the financial marketplace.
As a consumer, you have the right to make a claim through common law. A defamation claim can also be asserted should improper debt collection practices result in false information appearing on your credit report. If a company has failed to perform its services correctly, a breach of contract may apply. You can learn more about defamation here.
How Consumer Protection Laws are Enforced
There are divisions within the state attorneys office that focus exclusively on consumer issues and are responsible for enforcing state consumer protection laws. Private attorneys general statues are used by individual consumers to implement some consumer states. The state has to decide whether it is willing to take over the prosecution of the lawsuit once a suit has been filed. If the state decides it doesn’t want to, a consumer has the option of continuing to pursue the case on an individual level.
At a federal level, there are a number of different agencies that are responsible for investigating consumer statute violations. They include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Department of Justice.
Taking Out a Payday Loan
Payday loans have received some bad press in recent years, but some companies operate in a fair way. Payday loans are a viable option if you find yourself short on cash, and you’ve got an emergency expense you need to cover. BingoLoans is a QuickQuid alternative that offers a short-term loan option, and you can apply online. All the relevant information relating to interest charges and fees is clearly stated, so there’s no fear of the consumer being misled.
If you have any questions or doubts about this type of financial option, there is a section of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dedicated to the subject of payday loans. It helps to know your rights if you decide to take out this kind of loan.
With so much legislation being passed in relation to consumer rights, it puts your mind at rest because you know you’re protected.