As consumers, we are all protected by federal law from the use of unfair, fraudulent, or deceptive business practices. Unfortunately, many companies do not respect these protections and engage in conduct that is both unfair to consumers and unlawful, such as using false advertising practices, charging excessive fees, or including unfair terms in sales contracts. For help holding a company accountable for its use of deceptive practices, please contact the experienced San Francisco consumer attorneys at Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP today.
There are a number of federal laws that protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) broadly prohibits companies from using unfair methods of competition and any unfair or deceptive business practices, which includes:
Other federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), ensure that consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies that sell information, only provide accurate information to lenders. Consumers also have the right to know what information is contained in their own reports and to receive a free credit report every year. The Fair Debt Collection Practices (FDCPA), on the other hand, bars collection agencies from using any unfair or deceptive techniques when collecting bills, including when, where, and how often they can contact borrowers.
California consumers are protected from unlawful business practices not only by federal statute but also by a number of state laws. The Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), for instance, provides some of the most comprehensive consumer protections in the country, as it prohibits various forms of false advertising, including:
Other state laws, on the other hand, such as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) prohibit employers from asking outside agencies to perform a credit or background check on an employee or applicant without first:
Unlike federal law, the ICRAA requires that employers obtain consent each time a report is sought during employment unless the report is related to suspicions of misconduct or wrongdoing.
If you were taken advantage of by a business that engaged in unfair business practices or had your private personal information accessed and disclosed by a collection agency, call the experienced San Francisco consumer attorneys at Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP for help.
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