Financial stability is important for everyone. However, military families, who face unique challenges above and beyond those of civilians, may find it difficult to maintain that stability while devoting themselves to their work.
These issues are nothing new, which is why those in the armed forces and certain dependents have the same consumer protection rights as everyone else, combined with additional federal protections designed specifically for those undertaking military service.
These regulations are designed to protect active duty service members and veterans throughout the country, but that doesn’t mean that all finance providers adhere to them. Some claim not to be aware of these additional protections, while others willingly commit what amounts to fraud.
No matter the circumstances, if you have been treated unfairly or a credit provider has failed to meet their obligations, you should consult a military consumer protection attorney with the skills and experience to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
Speak to an Attorney from Bell Law Now
At Bell Law, LLC, we represent military consumers and their families. Active duty service members have earned the additional legal protections afforded them under federal law. We have handled hundreds of cases drawing on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Military Lending Act, and more.
In cases where being a part of the military community is not pivotal, we can still provide consumer protection legal services based on the rights of civilians. In our experience, military members who complain against a lender, financial institution, or anyone else can combine civil and military consumer protection to overcome deceptive practices and avoid scams.
Indeed, being on active duty as part of the armed forces does not protect people against some issues that could potentially affect their money. It could be as simple as a late payment on a cell phone contract because you were on deployment when the bill came due. Alternatively, it could become a criminal issue that does not discriminate whether you’re an Active Guard Reserve or a cashier in a store, like identity theft.
Every case is unique, and our flexible personal service means we have the resources and expertise to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. It all starts with a free phone consultation, so contact the Bell Law offices today at 816-281-0649.
The Military Lending Act Is on Your Side
Among the most prominent laws supporting the financial stability of military families is the Military Lending Act (MLA).
This federal law is primarily designed to protect military members from predatory lenders. It works toward ensuring that people in the armed forces are able to gain fair access to credit and that companies cannot exploit them through debt with high fees and interest rates.
Specifically, the MLA caps the interest a lender can charge on loans and other financial products at 36% annually. As well as capping the interest rate in the conventional sense, the limit also applies to the cost of fees and any other financial obligations associated with the core product.
The Act also confers a degree of protection against late fees and early repayment charges.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Also often integral to legal protections for the military community is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Broader in scope than the Military Lending Act, its primary role is to take the stress out of money management, enabling those engaged in active duty to focus on what they do best.
The terms of the Act that your attorney can utilize to your benefit include:
- Prevention of default judgments where the defendant is absent due to military service
- Early termination of leases and credit contracts without fees and penalties
- Reduced interest rates on credit while on active duty
- Protection against debt collectors, who cannot take action without a court order
Scam Vulnerability Among the Military Community
“Vulnerable” is rarely a term used in the context of service members and veterans. However, the inherent uniqueness of their jobs, along with a predictable income that is not always closely monitored, means that they can become the target of sophisticated scams.
As well as identity theft, service members are commonly targeted by scams where frequent absences and having something better to do than monitoring accounts work in the scammer’s favor. This might be investment fraud or impostor scams, for example.
Not all scams directly involve consumer protection laws, but they are typically illegal and involve some degree of financial loss. The attorneys at Bell Law are well-placed to advise and guide military consumers, ensuring they do not lose out as a result.
How a Bell Law Attorney Can Help Military Families
Military consumer protection laws are as strict as they are specifically because families and veterans have other priorities that may prevent them from monitoring their money, credit arrangements, and other arrangements effectively. They might also need to alter or break agreements due to circumstances beyond their control, such as ending a lease agreement early when required to move across the country.
These enhanced rights for service members mean that lawyers have plenty of different angles to tackle if and when something is amiss. From an absurdly high interest rate to harassment from a debt collector, your attorney will maintain the spirit of laws like the MLA and SCRA by eliminating stress and ensuring you’re always protected.
Some of the services you can expect from a Bell Law consumer protection attorney include the following:
- Reviewing contracts and credit agreements to ensure compliance with standard and enhanced consumer protection law
- Dealing with lenders, debt collectors, and other third parties in your absence
- Initiating and managing legal proceedings, where required, including serving as a point of contact for the court, regulators, and the opposing party
- Advice on credit and money matters, including loans, rental arrangements, and credit reports
- Defense against scams and remedial action should such a scam take place
Contact a Bell Law Attorney Now
At Bell Law, we take great pride in representing service members, veterans, and their families and dependents. We boast unrivaled experience in helping consumers to navigate the legal landscape and have the drive and resources to tackle even the most complex cases.
Military consumer protection is a cornerstone of our operations. We have helped hundreds of service members uphold their rights and ensure they are never taken advantage of by lenders of all sizes. No matter whether the legal basis for your case is rooted in civilian or military consumer protection law, we will work with you to find the best possible solution that eliminates stress and rebalances your finances.
From unfair fees and predatory debt collection to an unrealistic interest rate and outright scams, we are standing by to support you. We can deal directly with lenders, communicate with regulators at the state and federal levels, and prepare and oversee legal action to ensure you receive the compensation and peace of mind you deserve.
Taking back control of your financial affairs and ensuring the lenders you work with comply with federal regulations all begins with a phone call and a free consultation, so contact the Bell Law offices now at 816-281-0649.