California has a number of laws designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous businesses and business practices that present misleading or fraudulent claims about a product or service.
Consumers may be defrauded or misled in any of the following situations:
- Mortgage fraud
- Warranty fraud or breach
- Misrepresentation regarding the age of a product
- Automobile fraud
- False advertising
- Real estate fraud
- Identity theft
- Unfair pricing
These are just some of the more common examples of consumer fraud. If you know or suspect that you have been the victim of misleading representations or of outright falsehoods, contact the San Francisco consumer fraud attorneys at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian.
Some of the more egregious acts of consumer fraud occur with the sale of used and new automobiles. As a buyer of a used car, you are entitled to receive, review and sign a copy of a Buyer’s Guide. You are entitled to truthful price and payment quotes, copies of all documents that you sign, to have a single page sales contract and disclosure of prior accidents, rental history, lemon history, and if the car was a demo.
If you were the victim of a “bait and switch” scheme where you were promised a certain price, then given a higher one when the purchase was made, or given false information in an ad, then you do have remedies.
California leads the nation in mortgage fraud. Most of these cases involve businesses that make false promises to reduce your loan payments or loan principal or who can help you if you are facing foreclosure.
- Consumer Legal Remedies Act
Under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, businesses are prohibited from unfair business practices or deception including such acts as falsely advertising autos that are new or of a particular quality. If proved, you can receive actual and punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees, against the offending seller.
- Unfair Competition Law
Both business competitors and consumers have a remedy under the UCL, or Unfair Competition Law, for harm or deception from a business that uses fraudulent or unfair business practices including misleading or false advertising. You need not prove actual damages and can force these businesses into relinquishing all profits gained by means of their unlawful actions.
- Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
The main provision of this act is the “lemon law” that applies to unrepairable defects in new cars during their first 18,000 miles or 18-months of purchase. Buyers have the option of a replacement vehicle or return of the purchase price minus the value of how long it has been used.
- Breach of Warranty
All products are covered by implied or express warranties. Manufacturers and sellers must disclose in a conspicuous manner or place and in simple language what the warranty is supposed to cover if an express warranty. All products have an implied warranty of fitness and merchantability, or that it meets minimum standards of quality and safety.
Consult The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian
Consumer fraud takes many forms but you do have remedies if you promptly contact a legal professional. Call the consumer protection lawyers at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian today if you have a car or product that is not performing as intended or advertised or if you have been the victim of mortgage fraud. We have the knowledge and resources to handle consumer fraud cases.