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Pennsylvania Consumer Rights Blog

How to avoid falling for predatory lending

When your credit is lacking, whether from past mistakes or not enough history, you may be willing to accept whatever loans you can get. This mentality can lead you to fall victim to predatory lending practices.

Predatory lending is exactly what it sounds like: lenders who prey upon borrowers through unfair, expensive loans. You can take preventive measures to ensure you do not become involved in predatory loans.

4 ways to deal with the emotional consequences of foreclosure

After the housing crisis about a decade ago, foreclosure developed a bad reputation. As you likely know, following a foreclosure, you face a variety of economic consequences. Having a bad credit score or paying higher interest rates, though, may pale in comparison to the emotional consequences you face. 

If you are lucky, you may never have to worry about facing a home foreclosure. Still, with roughly 625,000 foreclosure filings in 2018, foreclosure is not exactly rare in the United States. How you deal with your feelings and emotions may play an important role in your outcome. Here are four ways to keep your negative feelings about the foreclosure process from taking control.

Resolving partnership disputes

People sometimes start a company without realizing what may happen if their business takes off. Others may buy into something with unrealistic or ultimately unrewarded expectations.

These situations may lead to a number of issues, but among the most common is that partners may decide to leave the company. It is a natural and predictable event in the timeline of many businesses, but each situation poses unique challenges.

Civil rights and Section 1983 claims

A lot of credence is given to the U.S. Constitution, and for good reason. This document, which serves as the foundation of our country, lays out the basic rights and protections afforded to all individuals. However, as time passes and the world changes, laws must be enacted to clarify the meaning of the constitution and further protect the rights it enumerates.

One powerful law that is often utilized for civil rights litigation is Section 1983 of the federal code. This law essentially states that nobody acting on behalf of the government can deprive any individual of the rights or privileges provided to him or her by the constitution. If a deprivation does occur, then the party who caused the deprivation can be held liable.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act seeks to halt collector lies

Some people will do just about anything to make a buck. This is especially true when it comes to those individuals who are seeking to collect an owed debt. While a credit agency may be entitled to collect a debt, there are limitations to the lengths they can go to obtain those funds. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act places a number of regulations on debt collectors to ensure consumer protection. A violation of any one of these regulations may serve as the grounds for legal action.

One thing debt collectors are forbidden from doing is making misrepresentations to debtors in an effort to collect an owed sum. They cannot make false or misleading statements to try to entice an individual to pay a debt such as by claiming that they are affiliated with or vouched for by the federal government in some way. A debt collector also cannot falsely imply that he or she is a lawyer or that certain communications are from an attorney.

Civil rights lawsuit filed after alleged malicious prosecution

The law gives individuals certain civil rights, which form the foundation of our democracy and many of our freedoms. Despite these rights being engrained in our society, far too often they are infringed upon. This is unacceptable, primarily because the ramifications can be enormous for individuals

One way that this can occur is through malicious prosecution. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors who bring cases against an individual without probable cause and subsequently dismiss the action have engaged in malicious prosecution. Such prosecutions can have serious consequences for an individual's freedom, reputation and emotional well-being.

An introduction to foreclosure in Pennsylvania

Although foreclosure isn't in the headlines the same way it was a few years ago, still, too many people in Pennsylvania face the loss of their home. People do not want to lose their home or its equity, and these people often seek solutions to stop or slow the foreclosure process. This blog post will provide some basic information on foreclosure.

When a homeowner becomes delinquent on their mortgage payments, they will be given the option of paying the mortgage before ownership and possession of the residential real estate is taken away. Often, this period of time will be six months. After this time is up, if the homeowner has not cured the problem, they may be foreclosed from redeeming the mortgage. This is the point where the foreclosure process may begin.

Mattress Firm provides an example of poor real estate practices

It is no longer a secret that Mattress Firm, the nation's largest bedding retailer, has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In fact, it recently came out of that filing with a restructured focus and about 700 fewer storefronts. Why, then, is Mattress Firm a good example of poor real estate practices?

In December 2017, the company filed a lawsuit against its former real estate representatives and outside brokers citing they were responsible for getting the bedding giant into bad leases all to make a quick and shady buck.

We help Morton clients victimized by legal malpractice

Many people know that doctors can be held legally accountable if they give bad advice to patients that causes the patients injury. But, did you know that lawyers can also be held accountable if they give bad legal advice to their clients? If a lawyer's negligence causes serious financial or physical harm to a party in a civil case, that party may be able to recover from the negligent lawyer for legal malpractice.

Last month, a post was written about a client that allegedly received bad advice from a prestigious Wall Street law firm. The client said that the firm's lawyers vastly underestimated the fees the client could be charged by an investment bank for advisory services. The client was ultimately awarded $10 million from the law firm for legal malpractice.

When can police legally use deadly force?

Unarmed civilians, often of color, being killed by police is nothing new. But it is only recently that the stories are getting more attention from the public and the media. The stories often cause outrage when it is reported that the police officers who caused the killings are not charged. People wonder how this can be if the victim was unarmed?

The answer is that police officers are legally permitted to use deadly force if they perceive a threat, regardless as to whether or not the threat is real. Therefore, if a police officer reasonably believes that his or her life, or the life of another person, is in danger, then deadly force is permissible under the law.

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