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What is Arbitration and Should I Consult an Attorney?

If you believe that you vehicle qualifies as a lemon under California law, then you most likely have already had your vehicle evaluated by both the dealership and a private mechanic. To prove that a vehicle is a lemon, it must have an issue that can't be fixed, be under warranty, and out of service for more than 30 days.

Once a dealership or manufacturer believes that you've established a case that your vehicle qualifies under California lemon law, they may suggest that you solve your case using arbitration.

Arbitration is a method for the dealership or manufacturer to control the situation and encourage you not to seek the help of an experienced Los Angeles lemon law lawyer. Oftentimes, arbitration will result in a positive result for the dealer; not the individual.

Our attorney, Howard D. Silver, discusses the difference between arbitration and hiring an attorney to represent you in or out of court. View the video below for more information:

To contact Howard Silver and schedule a free consultation, please contact us today by calling (855) 341-2611.

Posted Date: 
Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 Harmful Items You Can Remove from Your Credit Report

There are a wide range of items that can potentially damage your credit score. While you most likely realize that you can have errors removed from your credit report, you should also be aware that there are certain items that can also be removed even if they’re not erroneous.

Los Angeles credit reporting attorney Howard Silver recommends that you review a copy of your credit report periodically to make sure all of the information is correct. If you see any of the following 5 items on your credit report, you can request to have them removed:

  • Authorized users – It’s common to have your significant other or spouse listed as an authorized user on your accounts (or vice versa). However, after a breakup or divorce, you should request that these lenders remove you from your ex’s accounts, and you should have your ex removed from your accounts. Once you are removed from your ex’s account, make sure this is reflected on your credit report. This is especially important if your ex has bad credit.
     
  • Collection accounts – Often, collection agencies won’t have the proper documentation or authorization to collect on your debts. Anytime a collection agency contacts you about a debt, you should ask them to prove that you owe the amount of money they are trying to collect. If they’re unable to do so, you can request that the collections account be removed from your credit report.
     
  • Past-due accounts older than 7 years – Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, past-due or negative accounts can’t be listed on your credit report for more than 7 years from the date the account became delinquent. Any accounts older than 7 years can be removed from your report.
     
  • Court judgments – If you’ve been involved in a lawsuit for nonpayment of debt and a judgment was issued in that lawsuit, you may be able to have the judgment removed from your credit report before the 7 year time period has elapsed if the judgment was satisfied (resolved) or vacated (invalidated).
     
  • Hard inquiries – When you apply for credit, the potential lender initiates a hard inquiry to the major credit bureaus. These hard inquiries can negatively impact your credit, especially when you receive several in a short period of time. If you didn’t authorize the hard inquiry (in other words, if you didn’t apply for credit with the lender who made the inquiry), you can request that it be removed from your credit report.

Mr. Silver has more than 25 years of experience handling credit reporting issues for individuals in the Los Angeles area. If you have a dispute regarding information listed on your credit report, Mr. Silver can help you resolve the issue.

Please contact the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver by email or call (855) 341-2611 today to schedule a free credit reporting consultation. Mr. Silver serves clients in Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino Counties, and throughout California.

 

Posted Date: 
Friday, February 6, 2015

World’s Largest Debt Collection Agency Fined $3.2 Million by FTC

Expert Global Solutions, the world’s largest debt collection agency, was fined recently a total of $3.2 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to USA Today, the FTC says the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). According to the FTC, the debt collection company violated the law by calling debtors multiple times throughout the day and after being asked to stop, calling workplaces and by leaving messages about debts with people other than persons who owed the money. Further, the agency continued to try and collect debts after consumers denied owing any money.

In addition to paying the $3.2 million fine, the agency must also stop communication after a person requests an end to the contact, record at least 75% of their calls, and not falsely claim they will stop calling about a debt. Finally, the company must not harass or abuse a consumer over a debt, contact third parties or call a debtor’s workplace. Do not tolerate unfair debt collection practices. Call attorney Howard Silver for a free consultation about your case and your rights as a consumer. With the help of the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver, available at (818) 597-2610, you can put an end to abusive tactics and recover the money you have have lost due to wrongful actions.

All-Time High Reached for Americans with Third Party Debt Collection Accounts

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has revealed that the number of Americans with at least one credit account in collection has risen to an all-time high. As reported by Inside ARM, the fourth quarter of 2012 saw 14.6 percent of American consumers dealing with third party debt collectors. The previous high was 14.38 percent during the second quarter of 2011. As for the good news, the average account balance for delinquent accounts decreased from $1,546 to $1,499 in the fourth quarter. Overall, total consumer indebtedness was $11.34 trillion, higher than the previous quarter but lower than the record set in the third quarter of 2008 ($12.68 trillion). Further, a $10 billion increase led to a total of $966 billion for outstanding student loan debt. The amount of student loan balances that are 90+ days delinquent increased to 11.7 percent. The report also found that delinquency affecting total debt had decreased to 8.6 percent while outstanding auto loans reached the highest amount in four years at $783 billion. Debt can cause financial difficulties in a consumer’s life. However, financial difficulties plus unfair debt collection can be devastating. Los Angeles fair debt collection lawyer Howard D. Silver works to protect consumers from all types of wrongful practices. Call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver at (855) 341-2611 to learn more about your rights and what you can do to protect yourself.

Lemon Law Case May be Headed to Wisconsin Supreme Court

The State Bar of Wisconsin reports that a lemon law case in Wisconsin may head to the state’s Supreme Court to determine “the proper burden of proof” if an auto manufacturer claims a consumer acted in bad faith.

Under the Wisconsin lemon law, a manufacturer is required to refund a consumer’s money within 30 days if the vehicle does not conform to its warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts have failed. If a manufacturer fails to meet this deadline, they are subject to double damages, attorney fees, and other costs.

The case focuses on a man who sued Mercedes-Benz USA LLC after they failed to give him a refund within 30 days. The auto manufacturer claimed the consumer acted “in bad faith” because he failed to provide them with the information necessary to meet the refund deadline. Although the trial court ruled for the man, an appeals court held that a consumer is not entitled to damages under the Wisconsin lemon law if he intentionally impedes a manufacturer’s attempt to give a refund. The appeals court remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether the man acted in bad faith.

At trial, the man argued that Mercedes-Benz should be required to prove that he acted in bad faith by clear, convincing evidence. The manufacturer claimed a lesser burden applied and that they should be required to prove the man’s bad faith “by the greater weight of the credible evidence to a reasonable certainty.” The court sided with the manufacturer and applied the lesser burden of proof and a jury also ruled in favor of Mercedes-Benz. However, the court granted the man’s post-verdict motion and concluded he was entitled to a refund. The case was then sent to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine the burden of proof issue only.

If you have purchased a vehicle in California and believe it may be a lemon, contact Los Angeles lemon law attorney Howard D. Silver. He can help you understand your rights under the California lemon law. Call (855) 341-2611 today.

 

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Jersey Lemon Law May Extend Protection to Farm Equipment

Many of us rely on our vehicles to get to and from work. In a sense, we depend on our vehicles to make a living. Similarly, farm equipment makes it possible for a business to be successful in providing consumers with desired products in a timely manner. A New Jersey lemon law bill that includes farm equipment has cleared the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, according to an article on NJ.com. The new bill would apply to any new piece of farm equipment purchased in New Jersey and would financially protect consumers if their equipment is determined to be a lemon.

Currently, New Jersey’s lemon law only covers consumers who purchase a new passenger vehicle or motorcycle in the state. The lemon law does not cover commercial vehicles or motor homes. Consumers are protected for two years from the date they purchase their vehicle or for the first 18,000 miles. In order for a vehicle to be considered a lemon in New Jersey, a specific problem must affect its use, value, or safety. If the current New Jersey lemon law is amended to include farm equipment, owners of farm equipment that are “lemons” may be able to return the machinery for a comparable replacement or a refund of their money.

It is an unfortunate reality that vehicles, and as New Jerseyans have reminded us, farm equipment, often experience reoccurring problems even after a professional has attempted to repair the defect. If you have a vehicle that has been in and out of the repair shop in California for a persistent problem that has yet to be fixed, you may have a lemon. Howard D. Silver is a consumer lawyer who can answer your questions and help you understand your rights under the lemon law in California. Call 1-800-49-LEMON for a free consultation of your lemon law case.

 

NHTSA Creates Vehicle Recall and Auto Component Notification E-mail System for Consumers

As a major branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it easier for consumers to access information about vehicle and auto part recalls. Anyone with a working e-mail address can subscribe to the NHTSA’s Recall Notification E-mail System. Those who wish to register their e-mail address with NHTSA can select what type of auto component they would like to receive recall announcements for, including tires, child restraints, motorcycles, helmets, motorcycle equipment, and school buses. Moreover, there is an option to select up to five specific make and model year vehicle combinations. An individual can also choose to receive an e-mail regarding all vehicle recalls on a weekly basis.

According to NHTSA, prior to 2002, the agency on average received the following number of recalls per year:

  • 20 tire recalls
  • 8 child restraint recalls
  • 600 vehicle recalls

 

Vehicles can be recalled for various reasons, from a potential steering defect to poor door-lock design. On the other hand, a person who owns or leases a vehicle may experience reoccurring problems even after a number of repair attempts. If a consumer in California has encountered issues with a vehicle that affects its use, value or safety, they may have grounds to pursue a California lemon law claim. To learn more about your legal rights and options, get in touch with California auto attorney Howard D. Silver. Call (855) 341-2611 today for a free consultation.

 

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NHTSA Creates Vehicle Recall and Auto Component Notification E-mail System for Consumers

As a major branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it easier for consumers to access information about vehicle and auto part recalls. Anyone with a working e-mail address can subscribe to the NHTSA’s Recall Notification E-mail System. Those who wish to register their e-mail address with NHTSA can select what type of auto component they would like to receive recall announcements for, including tires, child restraints, motorcycles, helmets, motorcycle equipment, and school buses. Moreover, there is an option to select up to five specific make and model year vehicle combinations. An individual can also choose to receive an e-mail regarding all vehicle recalls on a weekly basis.

According to NHTSA, prior to 2002, the agency on average received the following number of recalls per year:

 

 

  • 20 tire recalls
  • 8 child restraint recalls
  • 600 vehicle recalls

Vehicles can be recalled for various reasons, from a potential steering defect to poor door-lock design. On the other hand, a person who owns or leases a vehicle may experience reoccurring problems even after a number of repair attempts. If a consumer in California has encountered issues with a vehicle that affects its use, value or safety, they may have grounds to pursue a California lemon law claim. To learn more about your legal rights and options, get in touch with California auto attorney Howard D. Silver. Call (855) 341-2611 today for a free consultation.

 

Consumer Rights and California Lemon Law

When buying a new or used car, it's important for consumers to remember that they have rights. Both new and used vehicles still under the manufacturer's warranty are covered under the California lemon law, giving consumers peace of mind during such a major purchase. If a vehicle turns out to be defective in a way that compromises its use, safety or value, the vehicle owner could be entitled to his money back or a replacement vehicle.

According to the California Office of the Attorney General, a defective vehicle is declared a "lemon" only after a reasonable number of repair attempts have been made and failed to correct the issue. California's lemon law is set in place to help determine how many repair attempts are considered a reasonable amount. This can vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on the severity of the defect.

During the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, it is presumed that a vehicle is a lemon if:

  • a problem likely to cause harm or death has been subject to repair at least twice and the manufacturer has been notified that the repair needs to be fixed per the vehicle's warranty;
  • a problem has been subject to repair at least four times and the manufacturer has been notified that the repair needs to be fixed per the vehicle's warranty; and/or
  • a vehicle is out of service for a total of at least 30 days.

 

California lemon law can be complex, but it is important for consumers to fully understand their rights when purchasing a vehicle. To learn more about how to protect your rights as a consumer, please contact skilled Southern California automobile lemon law attorney Howard D. Silver at the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver. Call (855) 341-2611 today for a free consultation.

 

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Washington State Adds Used Car Protection to Lemon Law

Whether you live in the state of Washington or California, it’s very probable that your livelihood and daily activities depend on a reliable mode of transportation. Thousands upon thousands of U.S. citizens look forward to buying a new or used vehicle for this very reason. For a vast majority, it takes years to save enough money to purchase or lease a vehicle. In order to help protect car owners from the financial loss and potentially unsafe consequences of having a vehicle with hard-to-fix and constant mechanical problems, “lemon laws” have been created in the United States and are often updated on a statewide level.

A recent komonews.com article addresses a lemon law revision in the state of Washington that will help protect buyers of used vehicles from unsuspectingly purchasing a lemon. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the new lemon law consumer protection bill as a part of National Consumer Protection Week in March. Previously in Washington, a car owner could only receive a replacement or refund for a vehicle with reoccurring problems under the lemon law if it was purchased new from a car dealer.

According to the article, as a consequence of the old lemon law, individuals were unknowingly sold used cars that had previously been returned to the manufacturer for having defects or problems. However, with the new lemon law in Washington, used car dealers must reveal information about a vehicle’s defect history so that consumers are fully aware about its specific problems. Having this information before purchasing a used car with existing issues helps consumers in deciding whether or not they want to take the chance of having a potentially low resale value as well as a vehicle that has continuous problems. This knowledge also helps protect a consumer from purchasing a used vehicle at a higher price than it is actually worth due to its past or present issues.

If you have been denied a refund by an auto manufacturer or dealer for a used or new vehicle that is defective or flawed, you have legal rights protected by lemon laws in the state in which you reside.

In some instances, a dealer may sell a vehicle that they know is faulty or is a lemon, but fail to inform the consumer. In other cases, a manufacturer may not be aware of a vehicle’s flaws, but may refuse to give a buyer their money back after the problems are determined to be irreparable. California lemon law lawyer Howard D. Silver has dedicated years to protecting the rights of consumers in matters relating to the California lemon law, used car fraud, unfair business practices, and much more. For a free consultation regarding your particular vehicle problem, please call (855) 341-2611 today.

Source article: http://www.komonews.com/news/consumer/87534937.html

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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