As a consumer, you may find your legal rights under attack on various fronts. Sometimes, bad business practices can cross the line to illegal under various federal and state laws. As a consumer, you have two primary interests:
- To reverse the effects of the illegal business practice or stop it from happening
- To get financial compensation for the ordeal that the business has put you through
Companies Do Not Always Respond to Consumers
Businesses do not always respond when you try to have a rational conversation with them about what they are doing. As a consumer, you may not know your legal rights. The solution is to hire a consumer protection attorney. They can represent you in both dealing with the business and when you file a lawsuit for the illegal practice.
When you come to the table with an experienced consumer protection lawyer, companies will learn really quickly that they are not above the law and that they should take you seriously.
Consumer Protection Laws That Help You
Consumer protection is about more than just what you buy. Of course, Mississippi law prohibits deceptive and unfair business practices. However, the state does not have the strongest laws on the books that allow consumers to take action against businesses. Nonetheless, you can take legal action when a business has defrauded you or sold you goods that violated express or implied warranties. One example is the Mississippi lemon law which requires a dealer to replace or buy back a car that does not live up to express warranties after three attempts to fix it in one year.
In addition, there are numerous federal consumer protection laws that protect you in various situations. Even when you are not buying anything at a store, you may still be considered a consumer for purposes of laws that govern credit. For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires accurate credit reporting and restricts the permissible purpose of your credit history. The Truth in Lending Act prohibits hidden fees and false statements when you are borrowing money.
When there is a profit motive, businesses can cut corners or use abusive practices. For example, debt collectors can harass you, calling you at all hours of the day and night to try to collect on a debt. Creditors may report old debts on your report and damage your score. Both of these can harm you financially and even physically.