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Why You Need to Know About Consumer Protection Laws

There are laws in place to protect consumers like you against unscrupulous businesses that take advantage of your willingness to spend money on their products and services. Consumer protection laws exist to help consumers get their money back, get the item they paid for, or receive compensation if they aren’t up to par. Some of the most significant Consumer Protection Laws are:

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

Lenders must disclose certain terms and conditions for most loans so that consumers can make informed decisions before taking out a loan. These disclosures include information about annual percentage rates (APRs), finance charges, fees, interest rates, payment amounts, and other costs associated with a loan.

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) has been created to protect consumers from unauthorized transactions on their accounts or ATM cards. It also requires financial institutions to make funds available immediately upon request unless they have a reasonable belief that there is fraud involved.

Homeownership Protection

It’s a scary thought, but purchasing a home isn’t always without risk. Several laws protect homeowners against foreclosure, like those in California. If you’re planning on buying a home, make sure you know your rights. Online legal services like LegalShield can help you with specific questions about your situation, and they can also provide general information about consumer protection laws.

Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR)

The TSR aims to protect consumers from unsolicited telemarketing calls and faxes by requiring a seller or telemarketer to obtain written permission from a consumer before calling or faxing them.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Debt collectors can’t’ use certain abusive tactics when attempting to collect a debt. These tactics include harassing or threatening consumers, calling repeatedly and late at night, contacting third parties about debts, etc. Government agencies and private individuals who may sue under its provisions enforce The FDCPA. Consumers should be aware of their rights under it and how they can protect themselves against such practices.

Truth in Savings Act (TISA)/Open-Ended Accounts Disclosure Rules

Credit unions provide all their members with a Truth in Savings Disclosure each time they make a deposit or withdrawal. The disclosure will tell you if your account is subject to TISA and what that means for you as a credit union member.

Federal Trade Commission Act

The Federal Trade Commission Act includes prohibitions against deceitful and unfair marketing practices, whether or not they are found unlawful by state law. The FTC Act also gives consumers a private right of action for violations of its provisions.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)/Truth in Lending

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires that all costs associated with buying a home be disclosed in detail. Borrowers need to understand these costs before committing money and resources to purchasing a home.

As a consumer, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself. To start, you must know your rights and responsibilities under your state and local laws. However, online legal services can do most of the heavy lifting for you.

 

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