SCRA: The purpose and history of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

In recent decades, numerous pieces of key legislation have been written and adopted into law that are designed to protect consumers’ rights. One of the biggest pieces of legislation has to be the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The act is designed to offer certain protections for servicemembers who are called to active duty. According to the Department of Justice, the SCRA was enacted in 2003 and has since Read More

PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE On February 1, 2022, attorneys from Bell Law, Lipman Law Firm, and the Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom filed suit in federal court against, respectively, the owner and manager of the Cross-Lines Retirement Center, located in Kansas City, Kansas. The plaintiffs—all elderly and disabled—named in this proposed class-action lawsuit allege that the Cross-Lines housing complex suffers from extreme Read More

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