Thomas R. Breeden, P.C. Attorney At Law
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Manassas Consumer Protection and Family Law Blog

Virginia tenants' rights and remedies in response to mold on the premises

Excessive mold can be a nightmare in a home or apartment. Once you can see or smell mold, you probably have a problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While people have different physical responses to molds, the fungus can cause many of the same symptoms people have in response to allergens, and it can be worse if someone is allergic to it or has asthma, COPD or a weakened immune system.

More severe symptoms may include trouble breathing, fever, lung inflammation and scarring, pediatric asthma and more.

When can a Virginia court modify a spousal support award?

These are financially challenging times for many people affected by our serious economic downturn. People are losing jobs or working reduced hours, businesses are closing or struggling, and illness is impacting families. For these reasons and more, many Virginians are having trouble making ends meet.

For someone with the obligation to pay spousal support - also known as alimony - a drop in income may make full payment impossible, or if they make full payments, there may not be enough to pay other bills and meet expenses. On the other hand, a person who receives spousal support may unexpectedly face financial hardship and require more support.

A yo-yo auto financing scam can harm your credit score

Many vehicle dealerships are upstanding and honest, but unfortunately, some are not and will not hesitate to take advantage of consumers in weak positions to question wrongful sales tactics. A common scam that can cause major legal trouble – and harm credit scores – for car buyers is called the yo-yo scam. 

The complex interplay between divorce and bankruptcy

Financial difficulties are often part of divorce, even to the extent that one or both parties are considering filing for bankruptcy. The timing of both legal proceedings - the divorce in Virginia state court and the federal bankruptcy - can impact the financial circumstances of both parties when the dust has finally settled.

The unique financial situation and personal goals of a Virginian facing divorce and potentially bankruptcy will drive which proceeding to file first. Overlap of the two proceedings is complex because each judge is dealing with the couple's property and debts. 

Ways for Virginians to resolve debt short of bankruptcy

While some think the only way out of serious debt is through bankruptcy, several other options may be available that could bring enough financial relief to get through it to a healthier financial place. While consumer or reorganization bankruptcy is a good option under certain circumstances, the decision should be carefully made considering all other potential legal remedies.

Borrower rights in wage garnishment for student loan collection

It can be confusing – even threatening – when a student loan borrower gets a collection notice that their wages will be garnished to repay the educational loan. Anyone who receives such a garnishment notice – which would mean their employer might be required to send part of the borrower’s earnings to pay the student loan balance – should know that these notices are not always accurate, may misstate the law and are sometimes misleading.

 

Defenses to suits on mortgages for already-foreclosed property

What can a Virginia consumer do when – years after they went through foreclosure on their home because they could not make the payments – they now face a lawsuit on a deficiency balance on the mortgage, perhaps because they were underwater on the debt-to-equity ratio? Or when they unexpectedly face a demand to repay an old second mortgage on foreclosed property? 

Talk to an experienced consumer protection lawyer to understand the potential legal remedies in Virginia. The legal defenses to such lawsuits are complex and elusive in some cases, so legal counsel from an attorney with extensive understanding of Virginia consumer law can be very important.

Runaway medical bills haunt many Virginians

It is common knowledge that many people face insurmountable hospital and medical bills. Even with the Affordable Care Act and expanded Medicaid, health insurance policies often include high deductibles and restrictive networks. Some families still cannot afford insurance and others face unexpected emergencies.

Readers may have seen Kaiser Health News’ recent investigative journalism into the collection practices of the University of Virginia Health System, referred to as UVA. KHN found that the health care provider has sued “thousands of patients” and engages regularly in collection activities like garnishing wages, seizing state tax refunds and placing liens on homes and other properties.

Equifax identity theft settlement could help 4 million Virginians

Identity theft can be a nightmare if the thief uses your personal identifying information to fraudulently rack up charges in your name, potentially harming your credit and forcing you to fight against those seeking to collect those wrongful debts. In addition, the thief could try to access your bank accounts and other assets.

The harmful ramifications of these kinds of fraud can be far reaching. As you fight with the credit bureaus to correct negative impact on your credit rating, those mistaken black marks against you that make you look like a credit risk could affect your ability to get a job, loan, lease, security clearance or college admission.

SCOTUS says FDCPA does not apply to nonjudicial foreclosure

We posted a blog previously about an important consumer protection case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. We explained that the issue was whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act — the main federal law extending legal protections against abusive debt collectors to consumers — applied to a Colorado law firm that had initiated a nonjudicial foreclosure.

In that post, we covered the issues in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP in detail as related to the FDCPA and whether a party is a debt collector that is governed by the Act’s provisions, including being subject to a suit for money damages by a consumer who was the victim of illegal collection practices.

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Thomas R. Breeden, P.C.
10326 Lomond Drive
Manassas, VA 20109

Phone: 703-659-0188
Toll Free: 888-704-5385
Fax: 703-337-0441
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Manassas, VA

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