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“As a consumer law attorney Springfield, MO, we can help provide you relief from fraudulent and unfair business practices.”
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney, Masterson Law
As a consumer law attorney Springfield MO, I have been a member of National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) since I began practicing law. My commitment to consumer protection is evidenced by a solid track record. I have litigated cases involving automotive fraud in Missouri, wrongful repossession, no-title purchases, “Buy Here-Pay Here” lot problems, predatory lending practices by payday and small loan companies, debt collection harassment, Truth in Lending, Rent-to-Own contracts, wrongful garnishment, and fraudulent and unfair business practices.
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Top Consumer Law Attorney Springfield MO
Consumer Law Attorney: No-title Purchases
No-title purchases can be problematic because if the dealer has borrowed money to purchase the car, the lender may actually own the title to the automobile you just purchased. There are certain steps you can take to avoid this situation and remedy it if you have already made a purchase without a title. If you’re in this situation and don’t know what to do, consider calling Masterson Law, who is one of the only consumer law firms in Springfield with the experience to help you tackle this situation.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Auto Fraud in Springfield, Missouri
Auto fraud typically describes deceptive and unlawful practices used by car dealers. Summer-Masterson Goethals is a leading voice in Missouri regarding automotive fraud. Masterson-Goethals has been hand-picked by the Missouri Bar to present on the topic for other lawyers in Missouri. As an authority on auto fraud in Springfield, Missouri, Masterson Law is uniquely suited to help you if you’ve been the victim of a deceptive or unlawful automobile transaction.
Wrongful Repossession: Consumer Law Attorney Help
Properly completing a repossession in Missouri requires strict compliance with the laws of the State. Often, the creditors orchestrating a repossession will not follow these statutes, which leads to a wrongful repossession. If you have been the victim of a wrongful repossession in Springfield, Missouri, there is an action you can take. Dealing with creditors and collection companies can be an exhausting and frustrating process, but having a lawyer with significant consumer law experience can increase your chances of success by a wide margin.
A Consumer Law Attorney on “Buy Here-Pay Here” Lot Problems
Generally speaking, “buy here-pay here” lots are automobile dealerships that directly extend credit to purchasers of automobiles – usually high-interestest rates. Like all businesses, the quality of these dealerships ultimately depends on the people who run them and their personal integrity. However, Masterson Law often sees cases where dealers using this model create deceptive contracts or quickly-escalating interest situations that put your financial well-being at serious risk.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Predatory Lending
Predatory lending is any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower. There are many applications of this and Masterson Law has consistently been an advocate for consumers in Springfield, Missouri. Masterson-Goethals was recognized by the Springfield Business Journal for her work as a consumer advocate while working at Legal Aid of Southwest Missouri.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Debt Collection Harassment
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact. This includes conduct such as repetitious phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone. FDCPA also extends to obscene or profane language and threats of violence or harm. Just because you may owe money, doesn’t mean the creditors have a right to harass you. Understand your legal rights under the FDCPA during a discussion with Masterson Law.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Truth in Lending
Truth in lending is based on the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) of 1968, a United States federal law designed to promote the informed use of credit, by requiring disclosures about its terms and cost to standardize the manner in which costs associated with borrowing are calculated and disclosed. If you have been the victim or suspect that you might be the victim of a deceptive lending agreement, it’s imperative that you consult with a highly-skilled consumer advocate. Masterson Law is here to help you preserve and defend your legal rights against unfair, deceptive, and illegal lending practices.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Rent-to-Own Contracts
Numerous issues can arise with rent-to-own contracts, Masterson Law is here to help you understand these arrangements and protect your rights. Items like fair sales price, home inspection issues, liens, exit clauses, and other items can make rent-to-own contracts more complicated and difficult than initially expected. As always, during a contractual process, it’s important to have someone representing your interests who can help you navigate the process. Contact us now for a consultation with rent-to-own specialists.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Wrongful Garnishment
If your wages are being garnished by a creditor and you believe this is in error, call Masterson Law today. As troubling as this can be, the good news is that there is corrective legal recourse to protect your rights and remedy the situation. Masterson Law can help you understand the legal details of wrongful garnishments and what goes into filing a challenge to the wrongful garnishment.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Fraudulent & Unfair Business Practices
Although many businesses in Springfield, MO, are regulated to prevent fraud and unfair business practices, the sad reality is that these situations do occur and consumers in the area feel the burden. Unfair business practices generally consist of using various deceptive, fraudulent or unethical methods to obtain business. This could include misrepresentation, false advertising, tied selling and other acts that are illegal in the State of Missouri.
A Consumer Law Attorney on Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is U.S. Federal Government legislation enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. If you have a credit report issue that you feel may fall outside the lines of legitimate behavior, call Masterson Law today. Summer Masteron-Goethals is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the credit companies to defend your reputation whether your goal is buying a house or just obtaining a clean slate.
Consumer Protection Law: Frequently Asked Questions
Someone gifted me something on credit. Can it be repossessed?
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney: Yes, if the loan was secured by the collateral (ex: a mortgage with a Deed and a Promissory Note or an automobile loan that is secured by the automobile itself). If the credit is unsecured, then it is not likely, but possible in limited instances.
What is Missouri’s auto repossession law?
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney: All repossessions must comply with the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) which requires a Right to Cure letter to the debtor with a payoff amount and a twenty day time period. Once a creditor has followed the UCC Right to Cure provisions, they can take your car after 20 days; however, they cannot “breach the peace” meaning, break into your garage or an enclosed space or cause some other trespass or law violation.
How do I protect myself from a fraudulent auto loan check?
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney: Always require a cashier’s check or cash. Do not give someone a car and title in exchange for a personal check which could be dishonored. Also, do not purchase vehicles on Craigslist or eBay or Facebook. These sites are notorious for being forums where unscrupulous sellers with intent to defraud attempt to take advantage of the “fast and easy” nature of the forum.
What kind of lawyer handles disputes regarding allegedly unscrupulous auto mechanics?
A civil lawyer who will want to be paid by a retainer at their hourly rate. Masterson Law not only handles consumer law cases, the firm also proudly represents clients in landlord/tenant cases, divorce, and Summer is a certified mediator and dispute resolution provider.
If the auto repair shop fixing my car does not charge me my full deductible, is the company committing insurance fraud?
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney: Most likely, yes, if the repairs exceeded your deductible and a claim was made on your insurance.
What are the requirements to claim my vehicle under the lemon law?
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney: The vehicle must have been purchased by you as a new vehicle, not a pre-owned, leased, or used vehicle, and it must have been in the dealer’s or its contracted repair shop several times within the requisite period and the issues have not been resolved after those attempts to repair it.
What should I do if I was punched in the face by a repossession agent?
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Law Attorney: You should immediately call the police and request that a report is taken. You should also seek medical treatment. You may be able to sue the repossession agent, its company, and the bank or lending institution that hired the agent.
Summer Masterson-Goethals, divorce attorney Springfield MO, is a Springfield Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 recipient.