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Manassas Consumer Protection Blog

Example of damage award under Virginia Consumer Protection Act

Here at the law firm of Thomas R. Breeden, P.C., we fight for consumers who have been wronged in unfair commercial transactions to their detriment. An important tool for protecting consumers in Virginia is the broadly reaching Virginia Consumer Protection Act or VCPA. 

We recently wrote an article introducing the main provisions and remedies within the VCPA. As we said there, this legislation provides Virginians the right to sue merchants that have caused financial loss through a variety of fraudulent or deceptive transactions.

Facts about the lemon law

You may have been searching for that car for a long time. It is the perfect color, body style, make, model and the price is right. But buying a car can cost you much more than you ever expected. Especially if the car you are buying does not work properly. It is called a lemon or a dud.

Federal tax treatment of alimony to change after 75 years of stability

Major changes take effect in 2019.

The new federal tax bill will make major changes to the tax treatment of alimony, which has remained unchanged since 1942. Currently, every dollar of alimony paid is deductable by the paying ex-spouse, reducing his or her taxable income by that amount and thereby reducing his or her tax bill. This will remain true for divorces finalized, or valid prenuptial or separation agreements resolving alimony arrangements signed, through the end of 2018. Beginning with 2019 divorces, prenuptial or separation agreements, alimony paid will no longer be deductable on federal returns.

To be safe, if in 2018 a couple signs a prenuptial or separation agreement in which they agree to alimony terms, it is recommended to have the state court affirm it in a court order before 2019.

Part 2: Stale-debt collection efforts that could violate the FDCPA

Federal law protects consumers against abusive debt collectors.

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, often referred to as the FDCPA, is a consumer protection law that shields people from abusive or deceptive debt collection activity. Here we will discuss the protections of the FDCPA when a debt collector tries to collect on a stale debt such as an old credit card balance that is time barred because the statute of limitations has run.

Part 1: Be careful how you handle your old consumer debts in Virginia

Complex legal issues can arise concerning the statute of limitations.

For a variety of reasons, people find themselves faced with old personal debts like credit cards, installment contracts for consumer goods, service agreements and others. Before deciding what to do, if anything, about an old debt - whether you believe you originally owed the money or not - it is important to understand the legal impact of the applicable statute of limitations as well as the limitations on what a debt collector can do about the debt.

New credit-bureau rules likely to benefit consumers

The National Consumer Assistance Plan will improve the quality of the data used by credit bureaus to calculate credit scores of consumers.

Beginning on July 2, 2017, the three main credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian and Equifax - tightened the standards applied to tax-lien and civil-judgment data the bureaus use to assess consumer creditworthiness. Pursuant to the National Consumer Assistance Plan, these liens and judgments, both existing and new, must now include the person's name, address and another identifier: either date of birth or Social Security number, sometimes called an SSN.

Take swift, protective action if your identity is stolen

Federal and state laws provide legal remedies for fraudulent activity based on your wrongfully used information.

The thought of having your identity stolen can send a shiver down your spine. We all have heard horror stories of people whose lives were hijacked by identity thieves who ruined credit, created debts in victims' names and more. If this happens to you, there are steps to take to recover your good name and eliminate liability that you did not create.

How to prevent a divorce from leading to bankruptcy

Divorce is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, but there are ways to avoid the financial turmoil.

Divorce and bankruptcy, as Divorce Magazine notes, often seem to go hand in hand. Financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce and divorce itself can cause such an upheaval in one's finances that many divorcees are left with no option but to declare bankruptcy. While there is no denying that divorce takes a financial toll even in the best of circumstances, there are ways to protect one's credit and stay on a sound financial footing once a marriage comes to an end. Below is a look at some tips for staying afloat moneywise when going through a divorce.

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Manassas, VA 20109

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