Consumer Protection Attorney in Kansas City
Overview of Consumer Protection Law
In a society with an ever-increasing focus on profits, it is sometimes the consumer who can suffer at the hands of businesses and large corporations as a result. Consumer protection laws are a set of laws and regulations designed to protect consumers and place them on equal footing with large corporations. They exist at the federal and state level across various acts, touching on different areas of industry and protecting consumers across a wide range of issues.
The Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) are the principle acts protecting consumers from predatory, deceptive, and unscrupulous business practices though most states have their own consumer protection act as well. Consumer protection laws exist to protect the consumer but also to provide avenues to remedy a situation where a consumer has been the victim of unfair and deceptive business practices.
Types of Products and Services Covered
Consumer protection laws protect consumers across a wide range of sectors, from banking to credit to real estate and automobiles, against deceptive trade practices, such as false advertising of products, safety, and product liability. Many consumer protection laws are in the form of acts for specific industries and some of the principle types of products and services covered through these acts are:
The Truth in Lending Act: designed to protect consumers in how their credit is used to establish the terms and conditions of financing.
The Fair Credit Billing Act: provides a way to address billing errors and protect consumers against unfair billing practices.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act: protects consumers against inaccurate information in their credit reports being shared with financial institutions
The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act: Gives the FDA authority to oversee the safety of food, drugs and cosmetics.
The Fair Debt Collection Act: protects consumers against abusive debt collection practices and provides users a channel to dispute or obtain validation of debt information.
Other areas of consumer protection include protection against unsafe products, medical equipment and mislabeled products. Motor-vehicle issues include the explanation of product warranties in detail and the disclosure of information when purchasing motor vehicles.
The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act
In addition to the federal regulations the state of Missouri has its own consumer protection act passed in 1967. It expands on its definition of fraud to “any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practice or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce.” It states there must be four essential elements existing to have a valid claim against a business:
1. Must involve the purchase, advertisement or solicitation of merchandise
2. The good or service must have been for a personal, family, or household purpose
3. You must have suffered an ascertainable loss or money or property
4. The loss was a result of an act committed before, during, or after a sale or advertisement that was unlawful
Aside from allowing class action lawsuits the MMPA includes a clause that requires attorney fees in these kind of cases to be ‘reasonable’ so that consumers are not deterred by high attorney fees in seeking compensation.
Kansas City, MO Consumer Protection Lawyers
If you feel you have been wronged and have a claim that qualifies under the broad umbrella of consumer protection law seek redress by contacting attorneys who will work diligently on your behalf. At the Barnes Law Firm we will represent you as if representing a member of our family, working hard to get you the full compensation you deserve.