Tampa Bay Area Consumer Rights Attorney

As a consumer, you expect fair and honest treatment when dealing with a business or creditor. Unfortunately, many businesses infringe on the rights of their customers through deceptive schemes, unfair practices, and harassment. Know that federal and state laws exist to protect your consumer rights. When a business or creditor has violated these rights, you may be able to seek legal remedy and compensation.

Consumer Rights

In the Tampa Bay Area and throughout Florida, call The Boudreau Firm to help you. We cherish consumer protections and hold an excellent track record fighting for Floridians, even against powerful companies and creditors. Our lead attorney Tamera Boudreau has been in this field for over two decades, obtaining high-value settlements for many clients. If you are looking for a champion for your cause, someone unafraid to take your case to court, you need look no more.

The Boudreau Firm can advocate for you in the following cases:

  • Unfair/erroneous credit reporting
  • Debt collector harassment
  • Telemarketing harassment
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card fraud
  • Wage garnishment defense
  • Bank garnishment defense
  • Deceptive business practices
  • And more.

See what we can do for you. Call The Boudreau Firm at 727-390-7614.

Unfair/Erroneous Credit Reporting

As an American consumer, you have the legal right to have a complete, accurate credit report and to have this report corrected if it contains inaccurate information. This is crucial because your credit report immensely affects many of your opportunities, such as getting a mortgage, a car loan, and even a job.

Unfortunately, as many as 4 in 5 credit reports throughout the U.S. have errors, according to a study. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the concerned credit reporting agency or credit bureau must correct or remove the error if you can present proof of the inaccuracy. If the bureau refuses to do so, you may file suit and recover damages.

Here are examples of FCRA violations by reporting agencies:

  • Reporting old information
  • Reporting late payment despite you paying on time
  • Misstating your balance due
  • Reporting a debt as charged-off when you paid it in full
  • Reporting an account you never had.

Reach out to The Boudreau Firm if you have a credit report error or if you are disputing a credit bureau’s position. An experienced attorney from our firm can navigate this legal maze to help you find your best legal options and assert your rights.

Debt Collection Harassment

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from harassing, abusing, or oppressing you. If they use tactics that constitute harassment or abuse, you may be able to take legal action and collect payment for damages, even if you still owe a debt.

A debt collector is required to give you a 30-day notice of your right to dispute the debt. If you dispute it, you must give the collector a written notice of your contention. The collector must then stop all collection activities until it provides you with verification of the debt.

Whether or not you dispute the debt, you have the right to ask the debt collector to cease all contact with you. If you request this, the collector is allowed one last communication with you to inform you whether or not they intend to file a lawsuit. Other than that, any contact from the collector may constitute harassment. Speak to a lawyer about your situation.

These are some of the practices that debt collection agencies cannot do under the FDCPA:

  • Threaten you with violence or use violence on you
  • Harm or threaten to harm your property or another person
  • Use obscene or abusive language on you
  • Publicly shame you, e.g., by publishing your name as a person who doesn’t pay debts or by speaking with another person about your debt
  • Threaten to have you arrested when you haven’t committed a crime
  • Misrepresent the amount or legal status of your debt
  • Add interest or fees that are not in your original agreement
  • Lie about their identity
  • Claim to work for the government or law enforcement
  • Call you before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

If you believe that a debt collector has violated your rights, talk to us at The Boudreau Firm. We can assess your case and help you find your best next steps towards compensation.

Telemarketing Harassment

Multiple regulations protect you from unwanted telemarketing calls, texts, and voicemails. Under the Federal Trade Commission, you may enter your contact details into the National Do Not Call Registry. In Florida, lawmakers have recently enacted the Florida Telemarketing Act of 2021, which limits what telemarketers can do and provides ways for consumers to deal with telemarketing harassment.

Some prohibited telemarketing practices in Florida are:

  • Calling a consumer before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Blocking caller IDs
  • Failing to state their name, company, and sales offer within 30 seconds of the call
  • Calling a person more than three times in the same day
  • Using an autodialer to call or text a person without that person’s prior consent.

Under our strict state laws against telemarketing harassment, you may receive compensation for your actual damages or $500, whichever is greater. The law also allows multiple people to file a class-action lawsuit together against a violating company.

Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud

If you have been the victim of identity theft, credit card fraud, Social Security scams, or the like, you’ll need to file a police report and take immediate action to protect your credit, finances, and reputation. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to coordinate with businesses and credit bureaus, such as by:

  • Requesting consumer reporting agencies to place a “fraud alert” on your file, indicating an identity thief is possibly using it
  • Obtaining documents from businesses, creditors, and/or debt collectors regarding transactions and other activities that the identity thief did under your name
  • Requesting consumer reporting agencies to “block” new information from your file if you can show that it is done by an identity thief.

The urgent steps you have to take can be complicated, especially as you will have to work with various agencies and businesses to restore your good name. Get the help of one of our experienced consumer protection lawyers from The Boudreau Firm. We can assist you from start to finish in placing credit freezes, lodging credit disputes, and seeking compensation.

Wage Garnishment/Bank Garnishment Defense

If you owe something due to a court judgment – such as a child support order or a debt default judgment – the creditor may resort to collecting via garnishment or “seizing” of your wages or bank account.

Creditors don’t have an obligation to notify you when they garnish. You might not be aware of the garnishment until you realize your paycheck or bank account statement is less than you expected. On top of this, in Florida, a judgment creditor can legally garnish up to 25 percent of your disposable income. For many judgment debtors, wage garnishment or bank garnishment can be a financial blow that comes out of nowhere.

However, you may still have legal options to ease this daunting situation. Talk to a reliable attorney at The Boudreau Firm. We have effectively handled garnishment cases for many Floridians, and we can apply that same creativity and know-how to obtain an optimal outcome for you.

Deceptive Business Practices

Many consumers suffer from companies’ dishonest dealings, misleading warranties, and failure to uphold their guarantees. If you are a customer who has had a financial loss or physical injury due to a company’s unfair practices, you may be entitled to compensation.

Several laws establish your right to get fair and honest dealings from businesses. To name a few, we have the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Florida Lemon Law, and the federal Magnuson-Moss Act relating to Breach of Warranty claims. These statutes and more protect you against deceptive trade practices such as:

  • False advertising
  • Deceptive pricing
  • Deceptive guarantees
  • Deceptive interest rates
  • Automatic charging for “extras”
  • Automatic renewal of contract without customer’s consent
  • Bait-and-switch scams, including those in investments. 

At The Boudreau Firm, our consumer rights lawyers have in-depth experience in consumer protection laws, allowing them to skillfully advocate for clients like you when claiming against a deceptive business.

Contact a St. Petersburg & Tampa Consumer Protection Attorney Today

Consult The Boudreau Firm if you believe that a company violated your consumer rights or treated you in an unfair or deceptive way. Your consultation with us is confidential, and we are not afraid to stand up to well-resourced companies and pursue litigation.

The Boudreau Firm is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and serves Tampa, Clearwater, Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Pasco County, and beyond. Call The Boudreau Firm at 727-390-7614 to schedule a consultation today.

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