Know the Signs: 3 Hints You’re Dealing with a Scammer

This statement shouldn’t be a shock to you: Scammers are everywhere. And, as time goes on, people who devote their lives to taking advantage of innocent people figure out increasingly clever ways to trick people into handing over personal information or their hard-earned money. New scams are being created every single day and, unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. However, there are signs you Read More

Forced Arbitration, a Problem for Many Americans, is Especially Problematic for Service Members

Military personnel, who offer to put their lives on the line in defense of their country, are entitled to a number of consumer protections. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provide favorable terms for U.S. military personnel in various civil cases, including bankruptcy proceedings, foreclosure, divorces, and employment-law Read More

WHITE PAPER ADDENDUM – Missouri Senate Bill 591: Overview of Why It Is Bad Law

SB 591, as well as its predecessors in spirit, favors BIG business, not small. Small businesses, unless they are genuinely bad actors, have not and will not draw outsized litigation under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (“MMPA”).  The MMPA is geared towards curbing common abuses—for example, unlawful lending, failure to disclose fees, and selling automobiles under fraudulent terms—that actually cause Read More

WHITE PAPER – The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act Under Attack: On the Act’s History, Evolution, and Continuing Importance

Andrew Taylor March 2020 1. Why Was the Merchandising Practices Act Enacted?  A Brief History of the Act. The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (“MMPA” or “Act”) was enacted in 1967. Its fundamental purpose then, as it is today, was to protect regular consumers from deceptive business practices. The MMPA has necessarily evolved in the decades since it was enacted; in order to properly understand the Act, it is Read More

Dangers of Peer-to-Peer Payment Services like Cash App and Venmo

More than twenty years after PayPal, the country’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service, was launched, nearly three in four Americans now use these types of services. Besides PayPal, consumers may also choose from Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, and many others. The COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated the trend toward a largely cashless marketplace.  For many consumers now, these P2P services provide them with Read More

Guarding Against Common Cryptocurrency Scams

Some of the oldest tried-and-true scams have found new life in the wild, wild west of cryptocurrency trading. Many Americans who had never heard of cryptocurrency, much less Dogecoin and other obscure digital tokens, have now received a crash course simply by watching the news the past few months.  The value of the U.S. cryptocurrency market has been steadily growing for years. Where money goes, though, scammers Read More

How the FTC’s Used Car Rule Protects Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a rule on the books that applies to all used car dealerships that sell or offer to sell at least five used vehicles in a 12-month period. So, essentially, this rule—the FTC’s Used Car Rule—applies to almost all used-car dealerships.  One of the better-known provisions of the Used Car Rule is the requirement of dealerships to display a Buyers Guide on used vehicles. This guide Read More

Was Your Vehicle Wrongfully Repossessed by Wells Fargo?

Some Missouri residents have recently received letters, as well as checks, from megabank Wells Fargo with regard to auto repossessions that took place years ago. Notably, these letters have contained admissions by Wells Fargo that it conducted some number of unlawful repossessions, with the attached checks intended to provide compensation for those unlawful repossessions. More specifically, these letters have stated, Read More

Colorado Expands Consumer Privacy Protection

By adopting comprehensive data privacy laws for consumers, Colorado became one of just a handful of states that have successfully updated consumer-protection statutes to reflect the importance of data privacy in the Information Age (see Int'l Ass'n of Privacy Professionals).  On June 8, 2021, Colorado’s legislature passed the Colorado Privacy Act (“CPA”), whose focus is the enhanced protection of “personal data.” Read More

How Do You Know if You Have a True ‘Lemon’?

Did you purchase what you believe to be a “lemon” vehicle? How do you know? How does the law protect you? A “lemon”, technically, is when you purchase a new car that turns out to be perpetually defective or unsafe to drive, which can be a source of great angst for many car buyers. For a car to actually be considered a lemon under Missouri’s lemon law, it must satisfy a specific set of criteria. Under Missouri’s Read More