Bradenton Consumer Protection Attorney
The U.S. Congress and the Florida legislature have each passed laws to protect consumers and keep them from being victimized by unscrupulous businesses, overly aggressive telemarketers, unfair employers, and more. These laws allow consumers harmed by fraud and other wrongful activities to bring lawsuits and recover compensation for the wrong done to them along with statutory damage awards and attorney’s fees in many instances. Knowing which laws to pursue and which courts to file in are critical to success.
Bradenton consumer protection attorney Don Cahall is experienced with both Florida state and federal consumer protection laws and has tried cases in the two different court systems. He has the passion, energy and drive to help consumers like you hold businesses accountable when they try to take unfair advantage. Call The Cahall Law Firm, and let us help you get justice when you’ve been wronged or mistreated by a Bradenton business, bill collector or employer.
Below is a sampling of the many consumer protection laws our firm works with to get justice and accountability for consumers in Bradenton:
Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA)
If you’ve been harmed as a consumer by a business’ unfair or deceptive practices, we can help you sue them under FDUTPA and recover money damages for harm, such as the difference in value between the good or service delivered and what it should have been. The business can also be forced to pay your attorney’s fees, so you get to keep the entire amount of the award we win for you. Unfair practices include bait and switch advertising where the company advertises a good deal on a product and then sells you something different when you get to the store. Selling a used item as new, acting as though a product needs to be repaired or replaced when it doesn’t, slipping extra fees into a contract, and putting unauthorized charges on a phone bill are all examples of unfair practices outlawed by FDUTPA.
We go after some of Florida’s most notorious serial FDUTPA violators, including exterminators, flooring installers, travel agents, data security companies, auto dealers, timeshare resellers, for-profit schools and debt relief agencies. Take extra precautions when dealing with these businesses. If you’ve had trouble with these companies or others, call The Cahall Law Firm to explore your options for justice and compensation.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
If you find errors on your credit report, including old information that should be removed, FCRA provides a way for you to get those errors fixed. You should be notified any time a creditor or collection agency reports negative information to the credit reporting agencies, giving you the opportunity to correct any wrong information. If you are turned down for credit, you have a right to know the reason why. If creditors report your account as delinquent when it is current, or if they report the wrong debt amount or report debts that don’t belong to you, they’ve violated FCRA.
Credit errors can cause you to miss out on a job, get turned down for a loan, or have to pay more for credit than you should. We can help you sue for FCRA violations and recover money damages for any economic, physical or emotional harm done to you, plus $1,000 per violation, attorney’s fees, and punitive damages for willful violations.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)/Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA)
These laws prohibit unfair debt collection practices by creditors and bill collectors. Under the FDCPA, collection agencies cannot call your house before eight in the morning or after nine at night, and they cannot contact you at unusual times and places. They can’t call you at work if you tell them you aren’t allowed to receive personal calls, and they can’t falsely threaten you with lawsuits or jail. Bill collectors can’t put your name on a list of “deadbeats,” and they can’t talk to your family, friends or neighbors about your debt or do other things to threaten, annoy or harass you. These are just some of the unfair activities outlawed by the FDCPA.
When debt collectors ignore these rules, you can sue them and collect money damages for any harm they caused, plus $1,000 per violation, and they have to pay your attorney’s fees as well. Florida’s law, the FCCPA, goes even further and applies to the original creditor as well as collection agencies they hire or sell the debt to. The Florida law also allows you to collect punitive damages in appropriate cases.
Wage & Hour Laws – Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
This federal law guarantees that workers get paid a minimum hourly wage, plus overtime at the rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked over 40 hours in a week. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25, but Florida sets the minimum wage for its residents higher at $8.65 an hour. Common wage and hour violations include:
- Paid less than the minimum wage
- Unpaid overtime
- Unlawful tip credits or tip pools
- Misclassified as exempt from overtime
- Being forced to work off the clock or not compensated for compensable time
Despite having strong worker wage laws in place, these violations happen every day in Florida and across the country. If you’ve been denied your fair wages, you can sue your employer and recover back pay and more. A wage claim can go back and reclaim several years’ worth of violations, but it doesn’t go back forever. If you wait too long, you can lose the right to recover some of those wages. Call an attorney right away if you think you are not being paid appropriately.
Call Cahall. Come Get Justice.
If your rights as a consumer have been violated by a local Bradenton business or a national company abusing its power in violation of Florida or federal consumer protection laws, call The Cahall Law Firm for a free consultation with a dedicated and experienced Bradenton consumer protection lawyer.