Consumer Law

Our firm provides services to clients in the area of consumer law.  There are various laws which have been enacted to protect the rights of consumers.  Some of the more common areas our firm deals with are as follows:

 

Fair Credit Reporting

Pursuant to Federal Law, all credit reporting agencies must ensure fair and accurate reporting of your credit information.  Further, any entity furnishing information to the credit reporting agencies has a duty to furnish only fair and accurate information about you.  Oftentimes, the credit reporting agencies and the furnishers of information report inaccurate information which adversely affects your credit history.  This can prevent you from obtaining credit or increase the cost of credit to you.  Our firm can assist you with problems you might have with your credit report.

 

Fair Debt Collection

Pursuant to Texas and Federal Law, there are certain restrictions on the manner in which a creditor or its debt collectors can undertake to collect a debt.  These laws are frequently violated by overzealous debt collectors.  Our firm represents consumers who have had their rights violated by debt collectors.  If you believe that a debt collector or creditor has acted unreasonably in its efforts to collect its debt, please contact our office for a consultation.

 

Deceptive Acts and Practices:

In general, Texas Law protects consumers from false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices, including, but not limited to the following acts:

(1) passing off goods or services as those of another;

 (2) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;

 (3) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;

 (4) using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;

 (5) representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status,
 affiliation, or connection which he does not;
 (6) representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;

 (7) representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;

 (8) disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of facts;

 (9) advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;

 (10) advertising goods or services with intent not to supply a reasonable expectable public demand, unless the advertisements disclosed a limitation of quantity;

 (11) making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amount of price reductions;

 (12) representing that an agreement confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law;

 (13) knowingly making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the need for parts, replacement, or repair service;

 (14) misrepresenting the authority of a salesman, representative or agent to negotiate the final terms of a consumer transaction;

 (15) basing a charge for the repair of any item in whole or in part on a guaranty or warranty instead of on the value of the actual repairs made or work to be performed on the item without stating separately the charges for the work and the charge for the warranty or guaranty, if any;

 (16) disconnecting, turning back, or resetting the odometer of any motor vehicle so as to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge;

 (17) advertising of any sale by fraudulently representing that a person is going out of business;

 (18) advertising, selling, or distributing a card which purports to be a prescription drug identification card which offers a discount on the purchase of health care goods or services from a third party provider, and which is not evidence of insurance coverage, unless certain exceptions apply

 (19) using or employing a chain referral sales plan in connection with the sale or offer to sell of goods, merchandise, or anything of value, which uses the sales technique, plan, arrangement, or agreement in which the buyer or prospective buyer is offered the opportunity to purchase merchandise or goods and in connection with the purchase receives the seller's promise or representation that the buyer shall have the right to receive compensation or consideration in any form for furnishing to the seller the names of other prospective buyers if receipt of the compensation or consideration is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time the buyer purchases the merchandise or goods;

 (20) representing that a guarantee or warranty confers or involves rights or remedies which it does not have or involve, provided, however, that nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to expand
 the implied warranty of merchantability as defined in Sections 2.314 through 2.318 and Sections 2A.212 through 2A.216 to involve obligations in excess of those which are appropriate to the goods;

 (21) promoting a pyramid promotional scheme;

 (22) representing that work or services have been performed on, or parts replaced in, goods when the work or services were not performed or the parts replaced;

 (23) filing suit founded upon a written contractual obligation of and signed by the defendant to pay money arising out of or based on a consumer transaction for goods, services, loans, or extensions of
 credit intended primarily for personal, family, household, or agricultural use in any county other than in the county in which the defendant resides at the time of the commencement of the action or in
 the county in which the defendant in fact signed the contract; provided, however, that a violation of this subsection shall not occur where it is shown by the person filing such suit he neither knew or had reason to know that the county in which such suit was filed was neither the county in which the defendant resides at the commencement of the suit nor the county in which the defendant in fact signed the contract;

 (24) failing to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed;

 (25) using the term "corporation," "incorporated," or an abbreviation of either of those terms in the name of a business entity that is not incorporated under the laws of this state or another jurisdiction;

 (26) selling, offering to sell, or illegally promoting an annuity contract under Chapter 22, Acts of the 57th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 1962 (Article 6228a-5, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), with
 the intent that the annuity contract will be the subject of a salary reduction agreement, as defined by that Act, if the annuity contract is not an eligible qualified investment under that Act; or

 (27) taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, by selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or by demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity.

Our firm also represents consumers who have been defrauded by businesses or individuals pursuant to this law.  If you have dealt with a business that you believe may have violated the provisions of this law, please contact our office for a consultation.
 
 
Credit Issues

 

Mr. Hervol represents clients in connection with credit reporting errors and disputes.   Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, all credit reporting agencies are required to ensure fair and accurate reporting of credit transactions.   Oftentimes, there are errors on your credit reports which need to be corrected. All negative credit information adversely affects your credit score.   In turn, your credit score greatly affects your financial health, as it determines the costs at which you can obtain credit, and even the insurance rates that you will pay.   Therefore, it is very important that you maintain control of and ensure the accurate reporting of your credit.  If you believe that a credit reporting agency is not accurately reporting information about your credit transactions, or if you have been damaged by a creditor which is not reporting accurate information about you to a credit bureau, contact Mr. Hervol at (210) 522-9500 for an initial consultation.

Some of the more common types of cases involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act include:

(1).       Impermissible access to credit reports (your report is pulled by someone without your permission or for a purpose not authorized by law)

(2).       Failure to delete or correct erroneous credit information following a dispute by the consumer

(3).       Reinsertion claims - erroneous information previously deleted from your credit report reappears

(4).       Date of last activity issues, where a collector or debt buyer changes the date of last activity on an account in an attempt to keep the adverse account on your credit report longer than what is allowed by law

(5).       Arbitrary reporting - listing the same derogatory accounts multiple times, or listing certain information about the accounts in an inaccurate manner to adversely effect the consumer’s credit score

(6).       Mixed file cases - the credit reporting agency has mixed your information with that of another consumer

(7).       Identity theft cases - accounts listed on your report are not yours, or where opened by someone using your identity

(8).       Authorized user cases - adverse credit information of a primary account holder is placed on the report of an authorized user, even though that individual has no liability on the account.